Criminal Justice Section

The section was established to serve all elements of the criminal justice system, including state, federal and municipal prosecutors, judges with criminal jurisdiction, state and federal public defenders and those lawyers in private practice.

Pratt Aycock, PLLC
705 Gate Lane, Suite 202
Knoxville, TN 37909
Immediate Past Chair
Eldridge & Blakney PC
PO Box 398
Knoxville, TN 37901
Schell & Davies LLC
509 Highway 96 W Ste 201
Franklin, TN 37064

Appeals Court Upholds Baumgartner’s Convictions

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected a bid by former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner for a second hearing before the full court. The order stated that despite a three-judge panel’s 2-1 split decision upholding four of the five convictions against Baumgartner, the remaining court members believe the case was properly decided. The decision essentially ends Baumgartner’s effort to have his convictions overturned, unless the U.S. Supreme Court was to take up the case, Knoxnews reports. Baumgartner was convicted in October 2012 of five of seven federal charges of misprision of a felony. He served a six-month sentence, but sought to overturn the convictions so he could collect his state pension.

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Judge Won’t Step Down from Rape Case, Trial to Start Monday

It has been a news-packed week for the upcoming trial of two former Vanderbilt University football players accused of rape. On Wednesday, Judge Monte D. Watkins refused to recuse himself after the defense accused him of not following the law when communicating with prosecutors about a live video stream during pretrial hearings. Also on Wednesday, a late afternoon surprise came when a Nashville television station said it had surveillance video related to the case. Watkins authorized the prosecution to contact the station about the video saying, “It could be potentially a major problem with the trial itself.” Airing of such a video would be a violation of Watkins’ protective order. Today, Watkins denied two requests from defense attorneys: to delay the start of a trial and require the sequestering of jurors. Unless the ruling is appealed, jury selection will begin Monday. The Tennessean and WKRN News 2 have more.

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