KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A disgraced former Knox County Criminal Court judge won't be able to see evidence prosecutors are planning to use against him in an upcoming trial, a U.S. magistrate judge has ruled.
Defense attorneys for ex-judge Richard Baumgartner want prosecutors to clearly identify what evidence they intend to use against Baumgartner on charges that he covered up a pill distribution conspiracy.
According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Judge Clifford Shirley has ruled that the prosecutors are not required under federal rules to pinpoint what evidence they will use or outline their trial strategy.
"The government is under no obligation to provide the defendant a list or designation of evidence that it intends to use at trial," Shirley wrote.
Baumgartner faces seven counts of misprision of a felony not reporting the commission of a felony.
He resigned from the bench and pleaded guilty to a state charge of official misconduct last year after a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe found he was having sex and buying pills during his courtroom breaks.
A special judge handed Baumgartner a sentence that 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.
According to the TBI investigation, one of his drug suppliers was Deena Castleman, who graduated from Baumgartner's drug court. The indictment says that in 2009 and 2010, Baumgartner concealed information he knew about a drug conspiracy involving Castleman to other judges, a prosecutor and the staff at a hospital where she was hospitalized.
Another judge sentenced Castleman in December to serve six years in prison for convictions that included possession of prescription painkillers.
Castleman told authorities that she regularly supplied the married Baumgartner with pills and sex, sometimes during breaks from court. The woman, who is nearly half Baumgartner's age and has a history of arrests, told TBI agents that she and the judge even engaged in sexual activity several times in the judge's chambers.