Ex-Judge Baumgartner in court for pretrial hearing

Ex-Judge Baumgartner in court for pretrial hearing

Baumgartner had his pretrial hearing in Greeneville. Baumgartner had his pretrial hearing in Greeneville.
GREENEVILLE (WATE) - Ex-Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner was in federal court Thursday for a pretrial hearing.

Baumgartner is accused of concealing and not reporting a felony. This case refers to an alleged conspiracy to distribute drugs.

During the pretrial hearing the judge agreed to add the word "knowing" to the jury instructions, saying the U.S. attorneys have to prove Baumgartner knowingly concealed and failed to report a felony.

The judge also decided that evidence of a sexual relationship between Baumgartner and Deena Castleman was relevant.  The judge discussed how much detail of the alleged relationship would be allowed.

An issue did arise over allowing other evidence though.  The U.S. attorneys filed a notice of intent to use co-conspirator's statements during the trial.  The prosecutors say they must prove first that there was a drug conspiracy before trying to prove Baumgartner concealed and failed to report it.

The defense claims it's hearsay and that the evidence is not admissible because Baumgartner was not involved in the alleged conspiracy.  They emphasize he's only on trial for allegedly concealing and failing to report the alleged conspiracy.

The judge now wants more information from the attorneys.  The judge has given the attorneys until 2 p.m. Friday to file their briefs on whether or not to allow the co-conspirator statements. Baumgartner's trial is scheduled to start on Tuesday.
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