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Baumgartner federal trial wraps for week; former assistant gets immunity for testimony against him

6:48 PM, Oct 26, 2012   |    comments
  • Deena Castleman
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Testimony continued Friday morning in the federal trial of disgraced former Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner.

Baumgartner faces seven counts of misprision of a felony.

Prosecutors say he lied to several people, including state officials, in efforts to knowingly try to cover up a drug trafficking conspiracy involving a graduate from his drug court, Deena Castleman.

Castleman was Baumgartner's mistress and, as a TBI investigation revealed, supplied him with illegal prescription drugs while he was on the bench.

Castleman's testimony continued Friday.

In defense cross-examination, Castleman painted a picture of genuine love between herself and Baumgartner.  She said their relationship was about more than pills and sex.

 On the stand, Castleman said she hasn't distributed to anyone but Baumgartner in the past three years.

She also testified that she did not think she had been part of a drug conspiracy.

The defense questioned her about hundreds of cell phone calls between Castleman and Baumgartner.  She said most of the calls were not about drug deals, as the prosecutors had implied Thursday.

She said most of the calls were to check up on one another, and that the two "hung out" a lot at her trailer home.

Castleman said she and Baumgartner would "watch TV, do dishes, have sex," together at her trailer.

"Sometimes" they'd do pills together, Castleman said.

Helen White, a Judicial Assistant to Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee, also testified about giving Castleman a urine test at request of Baumgartner.

White said she gave Castleman the test out of respect for Baumgartner and that she has not given a test since or before.

Click here for a recap of Thursday's testimony in the Baumgartner trial.


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