Former judge gets delay in his federal trial

Associated Press Modified: June 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm •  Published: June 14, 2012
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The federal trial of former Knox County judge Richard Baumgartner was delayed Thursday until no later than Oct. 23.

According to WATE-TV (http://bit.ly/MDs9mm ), it was pushed back from July 18.

Baumgartner faces seven counts of misprision of a felony — not reporting the commission of a felony. The disgraced former Criminal Court judge resigned last year after it was revealed that he was addicted to prescription painkillers. He pleaded guilty to a state offense of official misconduct.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Phillips recused himself on Wednesday from presiding over Baumgartner's trial. It was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer.

If convicted, Baumgartner could face three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

Last year he pleaded guilty to a state charge of official misconduct after a TBI investigation found he was having sex and buying pills during his courtroom breaks. A special judge allowed him to wipe the felony conviction off his record if he stayed out of trouble. The sentence also allowed Baumgartner to avoid jail time and keep his pension, but it did not preclude charges stemming from a federal prosecution.

Baumgartner presided over the trials of three defendants in the 2007 torture and slaying of a young couple. Retrials have been ordered.

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Information from: WATE-TV, http://www.wate.com/


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