One-hundred twenty potential jurors have been summoned for the federal case against ex-Knox County Criminal Judge Richard Baumgartner.
Baumgartner is charged with seven counts of misprision of a felony (lying to various officials to cover-up a drug-trafficking conspiracy involving his mistress and pill-supplier Deena Castleman). Castleman was a "graduate" of the Drug Court that Baumgartner founded.
Questions asked by Baumgartner's lawyers indicate that the defense may claim at trial that Baumgartner was addicted to painkillers and that his lies were to cover up his affair with Castleman.
The first 32 jurors were questioned yesterday and six were dismissed for "cause"---two were excused from jury duty for medical or other hardship reasons, and four were excused because of admitted bias. The remaining 26 will move on to the next round of questioning.
A second group of 32 is scheduled to be examined for possible dismissal for "cause" today.
The News-Sentinel article is here.
Previous News-Sentinel articles on Baumgartner are listed here.