July 9, 1992—Former Knoxville County District Attorney General, Ed Dossett dies under the hooves of cattle on his farm, while suffering from terminal cancer.
Roughly 6 months later—Dossett’s widow, Raynella, marries Dossett’s “best friend” David Leath. The couple retain separate estates as part of a prenuptial agreement. The Dossett estate is an extensive property, which borders the Tennessee Technology Corridor Steadily thereafter it gains in value.
July 10, 1992—Knoxville County Medical Examiner, Dr. Randall Pedigo, orders the autopsy on Ed Dossett: the pathologists find the manner of death to be accidental; the autopsy also reports prescribed morphine in the the blood sample.
August 18, 1992—Knoxville County District Attorney General, Randy Nichols, takes office. Nichols was a former Knoxville Criminal Court judge.
June 13, 1994—Knoxville County Medical Examiner, Dr. Randall Pedigo, tricks a minor with an interest in pursuing a medical career into receiving a hepatitis vaccination laced with a barbiturate so that he can safely accompany the doctor to crime scenes. Pedigo sexually molests the boy. According to the October 13, 1994 Chicago Reader: “In June the County Medical Examiner in Knoxville, Tennessee, Randall E. Pedigo, was shot after he pulled a loaded gun on law enforcement officers who confronted him at his home on a charge that he’d molested a teenage boy the night before. A search of Pedigo’s apartment turned up 97 guns along with photos of nude, underage boys, some of which, the police allege, were taken after Pedigo had drugged them or convinced them the photos were for medical research.”
April 2, 1995—Knoxville County Medical Examiner, Dr. Randall Pedigo, is sentenced in Criminal Court to a mere year in prison for drugging and then sexually assaulting 4 young men (aged 15 to 22). (I wonder who the judge was who gave this man who betrayed his community’s trust so completely such a sentence.) Dr. Sandra Elkins becomes Knoxville County Medical Examiner.
Date unknown—Raynella Dossett-Leath and David Leath void their prenuptial agreement in the presence of an attorney and write new wills in which they jointly share all property and which disinherits David’s daughter Cynthia.
Early 2003—David Leath visits the family attorney (a man who died before the wills were contested) to see whether his mother (who has cancer) would be adequately cared for under his will if he were to predecease her.
March 13, 2003—Raynella Dossett-Leath calls 911 to report finding her husband David’s body. A first-responder cop allegedly tampers with the pistol found at the scene and then replaces it in the victim’s hand. The detective who calls in the death to the county medical examiner’s office reports that three spent cartridges are present in the chamber. The following day, Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan (one of Knoxville County’s medical examiners working for Dr. Elkins), conducts the autopsy: based on the detective’s comments she declares the death a homicide; she sends a blood sample to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for analysis. The sample is subsequently lost, but the lab report lists a high level of barbiturates in the deceased’s system.
March 14, 2003—Raynella asks David’s daughter Cynthia to retrieve suitable clothing for the body from the couple’s bedroom, which was then a crime scene. Cynthia discovers an empty pistol holster supposedly in Raynella’s lingerie drawer, takes it away with her, holds it for several days, and then hands it over to the Knox County District Attorney General, Randy Nichols, a political opponent of Raynella’s first husband, whom he succeeded in the post.
March, 2003—David Leath’s will is reported missing.
2006-2008 (roughly)—Dr. Sandra Elkins, Knox County Medical Examiner, complains to county officials about a private pathology company’s inappropriate use of county employees to conduct for-profit autopsies in deaths that occurred in other counties. (Apparently, Knox County has no morgue and so must use other facilities to conduct autopsies, such as those of University Pathology Associates and the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville.)
2007—Christopher Lee Gibson is sentenced to probation for firing a gun at his wife, Darlene Gibson. At some later time, during divorce proceedings, Darlene Gibson photographs the car of Judge Richard Baumgartner in the Gibson driveway after Christopher Lee Gibson threatens to use his influence with Judge Baumgartner in the divorce proceedings.
January 18-19, 2008—Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan (one of Knoxville County’s medical examiners)questions the 1992 Dossett autopsy findings of disgraced Dr. Randall Pedigo. She concludes that Dossett’s death was homicide.
January 24-25, 2008—Dr. Sandra Elkins temporarily steps down as Knoxville County Medical Examiner due to an “undisclosed medical condition” and appoints her successor, Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan. Dr. Elkins’ attorney, James A. H. Bell, when asked whether inappropriate drug use was involved in her medical condition, declined to comment. (By this time, Bell is also Raynella Dossett-Leath’s attorney.)
March, 2009—Raynella Dossett-Leath is tried in the court of Judge Richard Baumgartner for murder of her second husband, David Leath. The televised trial ends in a hung jury. The defendant is represented by attorney James A. H. Bell.
January 26, 2010—Raynella Dossett-Leath is convicted of first-degree murder of her second husband, David Leath in the court of Judge Baumgartner and with James Bell as her attorney.
March 14, 2010—Investigators for Raynella Dossett-Leath’s attorney, James A. H. Bell, learn that one of the police officers who responded to the scene of the crime tampered with the gun that fired the fatal bullet and which was the key evidence in the conviction of Dossett-Leath.
Summer, 2010—Judge Richard Baumgartner presides over the Christian/Newsome murders. Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan testifies in the televised trials.
August 20, 2010—The witness to police misconduct in the Dossett-Leath case (himself a former police officer) fails to appear in Judge Richard Baumgartner’s court on subpoena. In a video conference outside the courtroom and outside the presence of the defendant, the witness claims he “misremembered.” During the hearing, according to spectators Judge Baumgartner spoke extremely slowly and did not seem to be very alert.
December 15, 2010—Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols drops murder charges against Raynella Dossett-Leath for the 1992 death of her first husband, Ed Dossett.
January 24, 2011—Almost a year after the conviction Attorney James Bell files a motion with Judge Baumgartner for a new trial in the Dossett-Leath murder case, based on the misremembered testimony of the cop, who has since signed up as a security contractor for the military in Afghanistan. No appeal of the conviction has been filed.
January 27, 2011—Judge Richard Baumgartner announces he is stepping down from the bench due to undisclosed
January 28, 2011—The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations confirms that it is investigating Judge Richard Baumgartner.
January 28, 2011—Judge Richard Baumgartner denies a motion of attorney James A. H. Bell for a new trial for Raynella Dossett-Leath.
February 18, 2011—Judge Baumgartner postpones hearings in the Christian/Newsome murder convictions for medical reasons.
March 4, 2011—Convicted drug dealer Christopher Lee Gibson’s attorney, James A. H. Bell, declines to comment on whether his client is cooperating in the TBI’s investigation of Judge Richard Baumgartner.
March 4, 2011—It is reported that Deena Castleman (an accused dealer in illegal prescription drugs) fails to make a court date because of a lack of counsel. Castleman has been named in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s probe into Judge Richard Baumgartner.
March 10, 2011—Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner pleads guilty to drug charges and resigns from the bench. He admits to having bought illegal prescription pain-killers (barbiturates) from a convicted felon under his jurisdiction (Christopher Lee Gibson).
March 2011—Tennessee Probate Court decides that Raynella Dossett-Leath is not entitled to inherit the Dossett-Leath joint estate on the Tennessee Technology Corridor because she killed her husband. As a result, David Leath’s daughter Cynthia inherits half of Ed Dossett’s valuable property, which currently is occupied by Dossett’s two daughters.