Castleman takes the stand in ex-Judge Richard Baumgartner's case

Castleman takes the stand in ex-Judge Richard Baumgartner's trial

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Castleman testified the former judge gave her $250 to $300 each time he purchased pills and would buy them from her 25 to 30 pills at a time. Castleman testified the former judge gave her $250 to $300 each time he purchased pills and would buy them from her 25 to 30 pills at a time.
Hanaver testified that the judge called him to ask about a possible false positive for Castleman's YWCA drug test. Hanaver testified that the judge called him to ask about a possible false positive for Castleman's YWCA drug test.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Arguments began Thursday in the trial against Ex-Judge Richard Baumgartner.

Baumgartner's mistress, Deena Castleman, took the stand in the afternoon.

Castleman testified the former judge gave her $250 to $300 each time he purchased pills and would buy them from her 25 to 30 pills at a time. She said the transactions happened two to three times a week.

She said Baumgartner would pick her up and pay her at her trailer, in his chambers and even when she was in the hospital.

She also claimed she introduced him to her main supplier so he could still get pills when she was hospitalized or in jail.

Castleman also told attorneys that Baumgartner began by using Hydrocodone and moved on to the stronger drug Roxycodone.

During her testimony, she said she and the ex-judge took pills together and even snorted them together once.

She claimed he would call other judges to help her when she got in legal trouble and said he even told the YWCA she passed a urine test when he knew that she didn't, in order for her to stay there.

U.S. Attorneys also called Knox County Drug Court Director Rob Hanaver to the stand.

On the stand, Hanaver said Baumgartner dismissed Castleman from drug court in 2007 after the staff recommended it and the judge agreed.

Castleman then testified that she was at the City-County Building in 2009 and approached Baumgartner for a job, but the discussion led to Baumgartner telling Castleman he liked opiates and asked if she could get some for him.

That's when the alleged pill transactions began.

Records for Castleman's cell phone and Baumgartner's drug court cell phone were entered as evidence in the case.

Hanaver said in 2009, then-Judge Baumgartner asked him for a drug court cell phone so he could make calls to staff.

After viewing the records for the cell phone, Hanaver said he found that most of the calls were made to Castleman's phone number.

He also said he could not remember a time when Baumgartner used the phone to call him.

Hanaver testified that the judge called him to ask about a possible false positive for Castleman's YWCA drug test.

When asked if he ever confronted Baumgartner, Hanaver said he asked him about the rumors of sex and drug use between him and Castleman and claims Baumgartner told him he was trying to "help her let rumors die".

During cross examination, Defense Attorney Donald Bosch asked Hanaver why he didn't ask about the cell phone usage if he knew it was being used, but hadn't received a call from it.

Hanaver told Bosch he didn't check the call records, he just saw the minutes used and thought Baumgartner was calling other staffers.

Both sides wrapped up their opening statements around 10:30 a.m.

In their statement, U.S. Attorneys said Baumgartner was a drug-addicted judge who used his power to cover up his drug-dealing mistress, who was committing a federal crime.

The attorneys accused Baumgartner of concealing his crimes, fearing that discovery would cut off his access to drugs and sex.

They also said that during the trial, they would show proof of Baumgartner's lies to other judges and hospital employees as part of the cover up.

Defense Attorney Donald Bosch argued that Baumgartner was "a man of many demons", but that the case was not about drug addiction or infidelity and that the ex-judge had honest reasons for lying and was not knowingly concealing an alleged drug conspiracy.

Bosch said Baumgartner genuinely cared for Castleman.

The attorney said during the trial he would prove that his client did not take affirmative steps to conceal an alleged drug conspiracy and claimed the government was trying to further punish Baumgartner for a crime he didn't commit.

July selection wrapped up Wednesday, with 10 women and 2 men selected to decide the case.

The former judge was arrested in May 2012 and charged with seven counts of concealing and not reporting a felony. The charges stem from an alleged attempt to cover up drug buys. 

He is also accused of trading sexual favors for drugs.

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