Richard Baumgartner, disgraced ex-judge, found dead at 70

Richard Baumgartner, disgraced ex-judge, found dead at 70

January 25th, 2018 by The Knoxville News Sentinel in Local Regional News

Former Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner is shown in his courtroom in Knoxville.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Richard Baumgartner, who served 19 years as Knox County Criminal Court judge before resigning in disgrace amidst a drug scandal, died Tuesday. He was 70.

A family member found the former judge unconscious at his home on Rush Miller Road in East Knox County around 4:15 p.m., according to Knox County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley. Deputies found no signs of foul play at the scene but gave no indication of cause of death, pending an autopsy.

Baumgartner, a New York native, graduated from the University of Tennessee School of Law and practiced in Knoxville as a defense attorney before Gov. Ned McWherter appointed him to the Criminal Court bench in 1992 to replace Randy Nichols, who had stepped down to serve as district attorney general.

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