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Jury convicts ex-judge in drug conspiracy cover-up

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November 2, 2012 04:57 PM EST | AP


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A federal jury in Tennessee has convicted a former Knoxville criminal court judge charged with lying to cover up a scheme that provided him with painkillers and sex.

Baumgartner pleaded guilty to state charges of misconduct and left the bench in 2011 but avoided jail time. An investigation found he had obtained prescription painkillers from felons in his court.

The U.S. attorney's office indicted him in May on charges of misprision of a felony, accusing him of lying to cover up a conspiracy involving a defendant from his court supplying him with pills and sex.

Baumgartner's defense conceded he was an addict and adulterer but argued that his actions weren't a federal crime.