Testimony continues in Judge Baumgartner trial

Testimony continues in Judge Baumgartner trial

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U.S. attorneys had more questions for Castleman, asking if Baumgartner ever offered to get her inpatient rehab. She told them he never had. U.S. attorneys had more questions for Castleman, asking if Baumgartner ever offered to get her inpatient rehab. She told them he never had.
Judy said the former judge started to leave the office in the middle of the afternoon and not tell her where he was going. He also began to ask her to cash more checks. Judy said the former judge started to leave the office in the middle of the afternoon and not tell her where he was going. He also began to ask her to cash more checks.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - In the second day of testimony in the trial against Ex-Judge Richard Baumgartner, attorneys continued their questioning of Deena Castleman and other key witnesses in the case.

During cross examination, the defense tried to paint a picture of a genuine, caring boyfriend-girlfriend relationship between Castleman and Baumgartner.

They said Baumgartner bought her food and clothing out of affection, not a desire for pills.

The defense claimed the former judge even took her to the doctor so she could get medicine in an attempt to get her off of the streets and off of her addiction to pills.

They also said Castleman was just getting pills for the two of them, not others.

U.S. attorneys had more questions for Castleman, asking if Baumgartner ever offered to get her inpatient rehab. She told them he never had.

They also questioned why Baumgartner would tell Castleman he loved and cared for her, if, as Castleman testified, he never tried to set up meetings with drug counselors.

Jennifer Judy, a criminal clerk who became Baumgartner's judicial assistant in 2005, came to the stand next.

She testified that in 2009 she started seeing Castleman more frequently in Baumgartner's chambers and that Castleman began calling more often.

Judy said that in 2009 and 2010, Baumgartner started to be less engaging and began slurring his speech like he was impaired.

She said she would often try to get him to eat something or lay down and she would try to reset the docket so he wasn't on the bench and people wouldn't see him.

Judy said Baumgartner would ask her to give Castleman a sealed envelope. She said she went home after these incidents because she hated to be involved in anything dealing with Castleman.

She also said she did see him take pills, but didn't know what they were.

Judy said the former judge started to leave the office in the middle of the afternoon and not tell her where he was going. He also began to ask her to cash more checks.

She said she would ask where the money was going and Baumgartner would say the farm or mower.

When Castleman was hospitalized, Baumgartner asked her to send Castleman flowers and use her own credit card and that he would pay her back with cash.

There was also a time, she said, that he asked her to drug test Castleman's urine sample and that it tested positive.

Judy testified that Baumgartner made a call, but she left because she didn't like to be around that.

She also noticed Chris Gibson calling regularly. She says Baumgartner asked her to run a background check on him.

Several other witnesses were called to the stand Friday, including a judicial assistant of Judge Bob McGee as well as a pill supplier and the director of the YWCA.

U.S attorneys also called nurses and a floor manager from the hospital to the stand. They testified that Baumgartner visited Castleman almost daily and was upset when he was told they couldn't visit alone.

A friend of Castleman's later took the stand, saying he would often drive her to the City-County Building for her to get money and then later drop off pills.

He said he would then drive her back to the City-County Building to drop off some pills.

Testimony began Thursday with opening statements, testimony by Knox County Drug Court Director Rob Hanaver and initial questioning of Castleman.

In March 2011, Baumgartner pleaded guilty to official misconduct and resigned from the bench.

The former judge was then 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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