KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/AP) -- Opening arguments began Thursday in the case of a disgraced former Knox County criminal judge who used people in his drug court to procure prescription pills.
Richard Baumgartner is accused of lying to cover up a drug conspiracy that included his pill-supplying mistress, Deena Castleman.
Castleman took the stand today, confirming several rumors that have floated around the case.
Castleman talked about supplying drugs to the former judge, 25 pills two to three times a week between 2009 and 2010. She said Baumgartner gave her $200 to $300 for each supply.
The partnership began in 2009 when Castleman ran into the judge. He offered to help her find a job, and at one point told her, "I've quit drinking, but I still love my opiates."
At that point Baumgartner asked Castleman to help supply his then expired prescription for painkillers.
Castleman identified three people who supplied her with drugs, people the prosecution called "co conspirators." She also confirmed Baumgartner knew them and started receiving drugs from one independently after Castleman had trouble supplying them during a short stint at Saint Mary's Hospital.
The prosecution asked several questions about the relationship between Castleman and Baumgartner. She confirmed they had a sexual relationship and were intimate multiple times a week, but when asked, Castleman said she was not attracted to Baumgartner.
A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe showed Castleman was a drug court graduate who later convinced a felon on probation in the court to supply Baumgartner with pills.
The director of the drug court over which Baumgartner once presided, Ron Hanover, also testified.
He told the jury of a government issued phone Baumgartner requested to communicate with drug court staff. Instead, phone records show he used the phone to speak with Castleman on a regular basis.
Baumgartner resigned in March 2011. He pleaded guilty in state court to official misconduct but was allowed to keep his pension and avoided jail.
He was indicted in the federal case in May.
On Wednesday, a jury of 10 women and two men was seated.