Deena Castleman, mistress and pill-supplier to ex-Knox Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, took the stand last Thursday on the first day of Baumgartner's federal trial.
Baumgartner is accused of seven counts of misprision of a felony for lying to cover up a drug conspiracy involving Castleman.
Castleman, a graduate of the Drug Court established by Baumgartner, testified that she fell back into addiction and, facing financial problems, went to the person who had helped her before, "Judge B," to see if he could help her get a job.
According to Castleman, Baumgartner surprised her when he told her that he loved his opiates and asked if she could help him get them. She answered "yes."
The News-Sentinel account is here.
In a nutshell, Castleman supplied pills to Baumgartner and a sexual relationship ensued as well. Baumgartner helped Castleman with money, visited her in the hospital, and obtained pills from Castleman and her suppliers.
In the second day of testimony, two area judges to whom Baumgartner is accused of lying took the stand. Anderson County Criminal Court Judge Don Elledge testified about a call from Baumgartner in 2009 regarding Castleman. Knox Child Support Referee Stan Briggs testified about a call that he received from Baumgartner in 2010 involving Castleman.
Among others who have testified are Judge Baumgartner's assistant Jennifer Judy and nurses at St. Mary's where Castleman was hospitalized at one point and who saw and spoke to "Judge B" when he came to visit Castleman.
In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the statements made by Baumgartner to Elledge and Briggs and others were made with the intent to conceal Castleman's role in a federal drug conspiracy. The defense contends that any statements that Baumgartner made were solely out of "concern" and "affection" for Castleman and not for the purpose of covering up a drug conspiracy.
The News-Sentinel account of the second day of testimony is here.
The News-Sentinel site has an extensive archive of stories on Baumgartner. Click here.