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Prosecutor: 'I was stunned' at probation ruling for embattled judge

December 13th, 2011 6:59 am by Jamie Satterfield

Prosecutor: 'I was stunned' at probation ruling for embattled judge

KNOXVILLE — Let the record reflect, a special prosecutor says, that he did not strike a deal to allow former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner to escape justice.

Al Schmutzer on Monday defended his role in the prosecution of Baumgartner that ultimately netted the disgraced judge judicial diversion and the sparing of his pension.

He said he never agreed to probation when Baumgartner struck a deal in March to plead guilty to official misconduct, a felony. Schmutzer said he had hoped Baumgartner would be jailed after Schmutzer argued at the plea hearing that Baumgartner violated his oath and put cases, including a high-profile fatal carjacking, at risk.

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