Crimetracker: Baumgartner sentenced to six months in prison

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Knox Co. Judge Richard Baumgartner will serve six months in prison with no chance of parole for lying to cover up a scheme that provided him with painkillers and sex.

Baumgartner appeared in a Greeneville Federal Courtroom Wednesday morning to learn his fate after his conviction on five counts of misprision of a felony. He was sentenced to six months for each count, with all of the sentences to run concurrently.

The former judge spoke out for the first time since the trial began, expressing how remorseful he was.

"I had no intent to harm anyone when I did this. The hardest part is I can't do anything to fix it," said Baumgartner.

"Of all of the cases I've presided over, imposing that sentence is the hardest thing I've done," said Judge Ronnie Greer. He also sentenced Baumgartner to one year of supervised release and ordered him to seek mental health treatment. Greer withheld from imposing a fine because he said Baumgartner had no means to pay it, having lost his pension, income, and social security, at least during the incarceration period.

Baumgartner was given 14 days to file an appeal, which his attorney Don Bosch has already said will happen.

Bosch also requested that Greer send Baumgartner to a prison in Montgomery, but the final decision rests with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Baumgartner avoided jail earlier when he agreed to a plea deal in 2011 on a state charge of official misconduct after a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe found he was addicted to painkillers and was having sex with probationer who was supplying him with pills.

Prosecutors say Baumgartner should serve at least two years in prison because his actions severely disrupted the Knox County judicial system. His defense attorneys say the disgraced and disbarred judge should be placed on probation.


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