Saturday, January 29, 2011

Knoxville Horror Judge Baumgartner under Criminal Probe

By David in TN

Judge Richard Baumgartner, who presided over the Christian-Newsom Knoxville Horror trials, is under a criminal probe, allegedly about prescription drug abuse. The agency involved is the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Jamie Satterfield, Knox News reporter, states in the above article that,

Baumgartner’s disorientation was readily apparent as the final trial involving suspect Vanessa Coleman wrapped up last May when the judge had trouble deciphering the verdict form. But most legal observers of all four trials and the slew of motions hearings leading up to the trials have praised Baumgartner’s handling of the proceedings and his various rulings.

I was in the courtroom for three days of the Coleman trial and the sentencing hearings for Lemaricus Davidson (here and here) and Coleman. I saw Baumgartner fall asleep once during a defense cross-examination during the Coleman trial. The judge would call for a break quite often. When he did so, Judge Baumgartner would head straight for the smoking area.

My brother is an attorney and years ago sometimes appeared before Baumgartner. In those days, the judge would smoke on the bench during a trial. This was before the no-smoking rules in public places. Judge Baumgartner is around 60 years old, but looks older.

There was supposed to be an appeal hearing on Friday, January 28, for the first defendant convicted in the Knoxville Horror, Letalvis Cobbins. It did not take place. Another judge has been appointed to take Baumgartner’s case load. He will have to study the proceeding before he can preside over the hearings relating to this case.

Some observers speculate that this may affect the verdicts in the Christian-Newsom case.

(NS note: It could lead to mistrials being declared in all four state cases!)


Anonymous said...

The Knoxville NBC station reported:

"Lawyers 10News spoke with said if Baumgartner were charged or convicted, none of the cases he has presided over would be immediately impacted. To overturn a verdict in any of those cases, attorneys would have to present specific arguments that Baumgartner's conduct impacted the case."

My brother told me that the appellate courts would consider Baumgarnter's rulings on their own merits. The Christian-Newsom verdicts will probably stand.

My own opinion is that state officials prefer these trials to be over with. We should remember that two unidentified male DNA specimens were found on Channon Christian's undergarments. The trials in this case may not be over.

David In TN

Anonymous said...

This could very well affect the outcome and could conceivably strengthen any future appeals. Perhaps the hack judge choice suggests even more the fact that the case was given short shrift and was meant to be disposed of quickly. If in fact that is the case,which I believe,then it's an indicator that things are worse in this country than I had ever suspected. Anyone could look at that judge and tell he was diseased which I am sure all in the local legal community were well aware.

Anonymous said...

The defendants were found guilty
by a jury of their peers!! I don't
care if the judge slept through the whole trial as long as the jury was wide awake!! And how much more does anyone think these parents can stand?? Enough is more than enough!!

Nicholas Stix said...

I just removed a libelous, anonymous comment. I apologize for not having earlier removed it, but at the time that some yellow-bellied rat posted it, the software wasn't functioning properly, which is often the case here. I guess that given what I pay for this blog--nothing--I can't complain, but I do apologize to anyone who was harmed by the libel.

Mr. Thomas Anthony Jones, Sr Income Tax Accountant said...

Baumgartner is the worse judge in the nation. Let all the people he sent to jail out immediately!