VOL. 131 | NO. 62 | Monday, March 28, 2016
Knoxville Judge's Former Mistress Charged With Prostitution
SHEILA BURKE, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The mistress who supplied a Knoxville judge with drugs and helped lead him to his downfall has been arrested on prostitution charges.
Deena Castleman was arrested last week in a sting at a Knoxville motel and charged with promoting prostitution and impersonating a licensed professional, Knox County Sheriff's Office records say.
Castleman, who is now 38, had a highly publicized affair with former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner. It was the former judge's attempts to conceal the nature of their relationship that landed him in a federal prison. A federal jury convicted Baumgartner in 2012 of five charges of lying to cover up his purchase of prescription painkillers from Castleman, and he was sentenced to six months in prison. One of those charges was overturned by a federal appeals court, but the other four were upheld.
Castleman was an addict who had graduated from Baumgartner's drug court. She told investigators that she regularly supplied the married judge who was nearly twice her age with pills and sex, sometimes during courtroom breaks, according to a report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The woman, who has a long criminal record, told TBI investigators that the judge sometimes paid her bills and gave her money to make bail if she ever got arrested.
The judge also admitted to using someone else under his supervision – a felon on probation in his court – to score painkillers.
Public records do not list a current number for Castleman. She was sentenced in 2011 to serve six years in prison for convictions that included possession of prescription painkillers, a charge indirectly related to Baumgartner. It's not clear how much time she actually wound up serving.
Baumgartner's drug abuse while on the bench led to slew of defendants demanding new trials. A woman who was convicted of killing her husband asked a court for a new trial this week, arguing that Baumgartner was high on the bench during her trial. Baumgartner's drug use led to new trials for two suspects in the high-profile murder of a young Knoxville couple in 2007. Both were convicted again.
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