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No verdict in Baumgartner trial after 2nd day of deliberations

6:36 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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November 2012: A federal jury found former Knox County judge Richard Baumgartner guilty misprision of a felony. He was accused of covering up a drug conspiracy involving his former mistress.

After a full day of deliberations, the jury in charge of deciding the fate of former disgraced Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner still not reached a verdict.   They will resume deliberations in the federal trial on Thursday morning. 

The jury delivered a note to U.S. Magistrate Ronnie Greer late Wednesday afternoon requesting to be sent home at 4:30 p.m. Other than that development, there were no signs of prosecutors, the defense team, or the defendant at the courthouse.  There are also no signs the jury is deadlocked. 

The jury spent just over seven hours deliberating on Wednesday.  They got the case Tuesday afternoon, after both sides delivered closing arguments.  The jury spent two-and-a-half hours deliberating then before Judge Greer sent them home, after a similar request to the one they sent him on Wednesday.

The jury is made of 10 women and two men.  Judge Greer did not require the two alternates (one male; one female)  to be at the courthouse for deliberations on Wednesday.  All of the jurors are from the Eastern Tennessee District.  They are deciding on six counts against Baumgartner.  Guilty or not, their decisions must be unanimous. 

In order for the jury to find Baumgartner guilty on any charge, it must agree that the government proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a drug conspiracy existed that also involved his mistress Deena Castleman, and that she was a willing participant in it. 

If the jury cannot agree about the conspiracy, then it means that Baumgartner had nothing to allegedly cover up.  That's based on how the charges are written in the indictment.

As of Wednesday, the trial has now entered its second week.  Jury selection took two days last week.  That was followed by four days of witness testimony and closing arguments.  The trial remains in recess until the jury reaches a verdict. 

Jurors are due back in court at 9 a.m. on Thursday to continue deliberations.  10News will update this story throughout the day as new information becomes available.

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