by Sharon Rondeau

(Mar. 22, 2015) — The Post & Email recently learned of the case of Timothy Aaron Baxter of Madison County, TN, a jury from which convicted him of “aggravated assault” against a then-72-year-old man who testified that he experienced “extreme pain” after he alleged that Baxter pushed him to the ground at a gasoline station in December 2010.

Baxter is currently serving a 12-year sentence and is housed at NWCX in Tiptonville, TN, the same facility as CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.), who was convicted of “aggravated assault” and “extortion” last June for attempting to bring evidence of public corruption to the McMinn County, TN grand jury.

A $5,000 fine was also imposed against Baxter.

A May 2, 2011 Madison County grand jury indictment, #11-250, states that “TIMOTHY A. BAXTER on or about December 8, 2010, in Madison County, Tennessee, and before the finding of this indictment, did intentionally and/or knowingly cause serious bodily injury to RICHARD UPRIGHT in violation of T.C.A. §39-13-102(a)(1)(A), all of which is against the peace and dignity of the State of Tennessee.”

TCA 39-13-102 describes “aggravated assault” and contains several provisions:

39-13-102. Aggravated assault.

(a)  A person commits aggravated assault who:

     (1)  Intentionally or knowingly commits an assault as defined in § 39-13-101 and:

          (A)  Causes serious bodily injury to another; or

          (B)  Uses or displays a deadly weapon; or

     (2)  Recklessly commits an assault as defined in § 39-13-101(a)(1), and:

          (A)  Causes serious bodily injury to another; or

          (B)  Uses or displays a deadly weapon.

(b)  A person commits aggravated assault who, being the parent or custodian of a child or the custodian of an adult, intentionally or knowingly fails or refuses to protect the child or adult from an aggravated assault as defined in subdivision (a)(1) or aggravated child abuse as defined in § 39-15-402.

(c)  A person commits aggravated assault who, after having been enjoined or restrained by an order, diversion or probation agreement of a court of competent jurisdiction from in any way causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or in any way committing or attempting to commit an assault against an individual or individuals, intentionally or knowingly attempts to cause or causes bodily injury or commits or attempts to commit an assault against the individual or individuals.

(d)  A person commits aggravated assault who, with intent to cause physical injury to any public employee or an employee of a transportation system, public or private, whose operation is authorized by title 7, chapter 56, causes physical injury to the employee while the public employee is performing a duty within the scope of the public employee’s employment or while the transportation system employee is performing an assigned duty on, or directly related to, the operation of a transit vehicle.

(e)  (1)  Aggravated assault under subsection (d) is a Class A misdemeanor. Aggravated assault under subdivision (a)(1) or subsection (b) or (c) is a Class C felony. Aggravated assault under subdivision (a)(2) is a Class D felony. However, if an offense under subdivision (a)(1) or (a)(2) or subsection (c) is committed against a law enforcement officer, then the maximum fine shall be fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

     (2)  In addition to any other punishment that may be imposed for a violation of this section, if the relationship between the defendant and the victim of the assault is such that the victim is a victim as defined in § 36-3-601(8), and if, as determined by the court, the defendant possesses the ability to pay a fine in an amount not in excess of two hundred dollars ($200), then the court shall impose a fine at the level of the defendant’s ability to pay, but not in excess of two hundred dollars ($200). The additional fine shall be paid to the clerk of the court imposing sentence, who shall transfer it to the state treasurer, who shall credit the fine to the general fund. All fines so credited to the general fund shall be subject to appropriation by the general assembly for the exclusive purpose of funding family violence shelters and shelter services. Such appropriation shall be in addition to any amount appropriated pursuant to § 67-4-411.

Timothy Baxter had been arrested previously on a charge of possession of marijuana. In documents filed on his own behalf, Timothy Baxter reported that he never received a summons to go to court on the charge and was subsequently arrested for failure to appear, similar to that which occurred in an earlier case involving Fitzpatrick in October 2010 in Monroe County.

The Post & Email has reported over more than five years of the manipulation of grand juries and trial juries, human trafficking, disallowing of crucial evidence during trial, perversion of state laws, cronyism, and retaliation carried out by Tennessee judges, prosecutors and court clerks throughout the state.   We recently spoke with Baxter’s father, Lee, who told us,  “My son has suffered a tremendous injustice and I would like to live to see him free and those responsible for the injustice put in their own jail.”

Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr. took office on September 1, 1998 and presided over Baxter’s trial.  A reference to Morgan linking to the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts leads to an apparently unrelated schedule of events.

Lee Baxter was at one time a reporter for a local western Tennessee radio station.  He mailed us substantial hard-copy documentation on his son’s case which included a transcript signed by court reporter Clarissa Dunn in which Mr. Upright testified that he earned his living by driving. However, when Upright went to a walk-in medical clinic the day after the altercation with Tim Baxter, he reportedly told medical staff that he was retired.

As for a date, the transcript indicates only that it was produced sometime in 2011.

Line on medical report form for Richard Upright wherein hospital staff indicated that Upright told them he was “retired” at the time of the altercation with Timothy Baxter on December 8, 2010
Identification from the medical records page of Richard Upright which indicates that he told staff at a local hospital that he was “retired” directly after the incident involving Timothy Aaron Baxter

“This is so embedded in the system that the people of the county just accept it.  It’s just business as usual,” Mr. Baxter told us of the court corruption which sentences many innocent people to prison and has denied constitutional due process to an untold number of Tennesseans over nearly a century.

Baxter further told us:

Judge Roy Morgan is so comfortable in his position that it was evident at this trial for my son. He was cavalier and arrogant, happy-go-lucky…”What are we doing for lunch, Mr. Prosecutor?” and my son’s life was hanging in the balance.  It was just like a day in the park.

In the post-conviction, he ridiculed my son – of course, my son tried to sound as lawyeristic as he could, as he was representing himself – and I was so angry I could barely hold it in.  Judge Roy Morgan’s father was a judge, and we’ve got a lot of that patriarchy in Jackson. Whit LaFon was a notorious Madison County judge – look him up…he is Al Gore’s uncle.

I had been in trouble in Madison County in 1994, and Whit LaFon was “in” on it.  I got out of my trouble, but they had animosity toward me which might have been carried over to my son.

During Tim’s last trial, there was a person on the jury named Jody Parish, a real estate agent. Her sister is named Tina Parish, and I was engaged to Tina’s best friend, Renee, and my ex-wife, who is Tim’s mother, came over to Renee’s house and beat her up one night.  Tina was Renee’s best friend, and Jody Parish on the jury is Tina’s big sister.  They removed a juror who knew Tim and put her on it.

The woman that they removed from the jury had run a store in the community and knew Tim, and she had already indicated that there was no way she would find him guilty.

The depth of public corruption is scary.  The judge in Tim’s case conversed with some of the trial jurors as if he knew them on a personal basis, and he also said to them, “Oh, you were on that so-and-so case a couple of weeks ago, weren’t you?”  Two of the jurors’ husbands work for the fire department.

TCA 22-2-314 prohibits a juror from serving on any Tennessee jury for 24 months.

Lee Baxter told us that Tim had spent “8-10 years” in state prison prior to his present incarceration and “had only been out about a year” when the altercation with Upright transpired.  “They falsely charged him with operating a meth lab, and they never found any evidence,” Baxter told us.

“He just had a brand-new baby girl, and he didn’t even get to see her,” he added.

It was a case of road rage, and they both pulled up at this store, and the old man came charging at my son, and my son took both hands and pushed him back, and when he did, the old man fell, and the old man claimed that he broke his ribs and was severely injured.  He didn’t prove it in court.  It was self-defense, actually, but they charged him with assault, and they bumped it up to “aggravated assault” to get him back in the system.

That old man didn’t even go to the doctor…he didn’t even let them call an ambulance.  He said that he was OK.  The next day, he went to Convenient Care.  They brought up his old injuries in court.  The state never provided any evidence; there was never any medical expert who testified as to his injuries.

It’s a money game. His lawyer tried to extort money from me because on our first meeting, the first thing he said to me was, “I need $5,000 to represent your son, and I don’t know if I can get him off.  These judges hate your son.”  I said to him, “First of all, I’m not out to give you any money when you’re telling me that you don’t think you’re going to get my son off.  As far as these judges not liking him, that shouldn’t even enter into the case.  The case in point here is him and this old man getting into a fight.”

He had an order against Judge Morgan to recuse himself, and Morgan refused.  You know what the lawyers told me?  “He’s gonna go before [Judge] Douglas, and Douglas will put him away for life.”  He said, “They’re going to try to get him as an ‘habitual offender’  and bump this up to ‘aggravated assault.’  He’s going to go back to jail.”

Baxter believes that “his time served in county jail should have been enough.”

He then related a consequential horror story.

While he was in [county] jail for this, he got the hell beat out of him by three inmates there in the jail.  They refused to tell me those inmates’ names.  I wanted to have them indicted for attempted murder.  They would not let me see my son; they would not let me talk to him.  He was getting messages out to his girlfriend when he could get a call out that he was in pain and he could not eat; his jaw was broken.  I had to call the county sheriff to see if he was getting adequate medical treatment…that was Sheriff Woolfork, who was indicted for alleged sexual battery.

[Editor’s Note:  At the time of the indictment, Woolfork’s attorney told the media, “It is relatively easy to obtain an indictment, that’s not a hard part of a case.”  Woolfork was serving his fifth four-year term as Madison County Sheriff when he was accused of sexual battery by an employee of the sheriff’s department.

Woolfork was ultimately was found “not guilty” of all charges last June after having retired in February of 2014.

The slogan of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office is “Creating a Culture of Integrity.”]

The first time he was in prison in Tiptonville, he got beaten by an ax handle by guards.  He has a suit against Tennessee; that’s why he was sent back.  This whole system has been against him because of that initial beating, and he filed suit against those guards.  It’s a big conspiracy, I guarantee you.

I’m elated and praising God that somebody is paying attention to this so hopefully he can get out of jail.  They don’t know what they’re doing to families; it’s so heart-wrenching, and I have to worry about him being beaten to death in prison.  It’s just amazing that there is stuff like this going on in this country…our country has changed so much I can’t believe it.

Madison County is where Karen Caldwell fought to regain custody of her two young daughters from vindictive fathers and family court judges; the last we heard from her, one of them had been returned.

Madison County calls itself “A Great American Community.”



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