KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A man who was convicted of 12 counts of Rape and Sexual Battery was awarded a new trial as the fallout from the Judge Richard Baumgartner scandal continues. Jayson Bailey's new trial is set to begin in January 2013.
Bailey asked for a new trial after revelations that the presiding judge, Richard Baumgartner, in his first trial had used painkillers while on the bench. Baumgartner, who resigned in disgrace last year, also presided over the trial of the four defendants in the Christian-Newsom murders, who have also been awarded new trials.
The State maintained, as it had in the Christian-Newsom cases, that the law mandates a connection between the judge's misconduct and the handling of a trial in question before a jury's verdict can be overturned.
Furthermore, because it saw no link in the TBI record describing Baumgartner's alleged behavior while on the bench, the State claims it stipulated the admission of the record. The state denied the the stipulation amounted to an admission that the record mattered or was accurate.
The State said it was "surpris(ed)" when Judge Blackwood ruled against it, especially noting Blackwood previously said he "could not find that Baumgartner 'was in any way impaired or not capable of discharging professional responsibilities that were required of him as trial judge.'"
Bailey was accused of molesting a family member over a two year period. He was arrested in August 2008 following a four-month investigation.