Monday, November 14, 2011

The Knoxville Horror: “Judge Mischief” Strikes Again


Judge Richard Baumgartner at Letalvvis Cobbins' sentencing

By David in TN

The Knoxville News Sentinel wants the records opened as to the reason Judge Richard Baumgartner was forced to resign from the bench. Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, who has taken over Baumgartner’s work pertaining to the Knoxville Horror trials, felt the contents of Judge Baumgartner’s file was “alarming enough that he turned it over to the torture slaying defendants’ defenders.”

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood


The former judge has also been disbarred. Baumgartner had been abusing hundreds of prescription painkillers he bought illegally from a felon under probation in his court. The attorneys for the four convicted murderers say the file proves Baumgartner was impaired enough to justify new trials.

If new trials take place, Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas will not be eligible for the death penalty under double jeopardy provisions. They can only face the sentence they received in their first trials—“life without parole.” Lemaricus Davidson, as the only defendant to receive a death sentence, is the only one who could face it again. Vanessa Coleman would only be tried for facilitation, which she was previously convicted of.

A hearing on the motion by the Knoxville News Sentinel has not been set. Judge Blackwood will hear evidence in the defendants’ motions for new trials on December 1.

Nicholas Stix called Richard Baumgartner “Judge Mischief.” It has certainly turned out that way.

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