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Pills & Sex in Courtroom Breaks – ‘High’ Judge Pleads Guilty
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Recent investigation found Tennessee Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner was so addicted to pills that during his final two years on the bench he was frequently buying pills and having sex during courtroom breaks. Baumgartner’s secretary told the investigators that the judge was so ‘high’ on some days that she’d have to reschedule hearings.

While his behavior in many of the cases he had presided over had been questioned previously, few realized that his addiction was so desperate that he was buying pills from convicts he had previously convicted. One of the ex-convicts, Deena Castleman, who is half the age of the judge, told authorities that the married judge regularly purchased pills from her and engaged in sex with her several times in the judge’s chambers. Deena confessed to the investigators that the judge had falsified the results of her drug test and had also provided her money for bail in exchange of sex and pills.

Judge Baumgartner was so protective of Deena and was so concerned with her health that during a high-profile trial in 2009, while Deena was hospitalized in a nursing home, the judge would rush to visit Deena during breaks from the trial. Nurses at the hospital told investigators that Deena appeared to be high after each time the judge visited her in her room. The authorities later confiscated illicit prescription drugs from her room.


The judge stepped down and pleaded guilty only to a single count of misdemeanor in March 2011; however it took another eight months of investigation for the picture to fully emerge. But, most of the details are under wraps due to confidentiality. A special judge has already passed a sentence that has wiped off the felony conviction to which Baumgartner pleaded guilty and also allowed him to keep his pension and avoid jail time.

With more facts being unearthed investigations renewed and the file was reopened. The U.S. Attorney’s office is also into the investigation. It is not clear who threw the stone at the hornet’s nest since in Tennessee ethical complaints against judges are not public record.

Applications are pouring in from over 1000 cases that the judge had presided over in his last two years in bench with people asking for rehearing on the ground that the ‘high’ judge did them ‘out.’

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