Kook Bagged

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Elsebeth Baumgartner, a woman so annoying she's actually considered a terrorist in the eyes of the law, got hammered Monday by a Cuyahoga County judge. Shirley Strickland Saffold sentenced the former patent lawyer to eight years in prison for harassing a judge with bogus lawsuits and slanderous e-mails. The judge was hearing a defamation case against Baumgartner; the defendant will stay free on bond while she appeals. You may remember Baumgartner from our story The Pest. Just a decade ago, she was a successful pharmacist, patent lawyer, and mother of two beautiful daughters -- not the type you'd expect to be serving hard time. But after her mother died of cancer and her father killed himself shortly after, Baumgartner seemed to come unhinged. When her daughter got benched from the cross-country team, she cried conspiracy, and the rest was history. The school board was in on the fix against her family, then the police, then the prosecutor, then judges, then the Ohio Supreme Court. And the more her wild accusations snowballed, the more bizarre they became -- from child sex rings to South American cocaine smuggling. When Scene interviewed Baumgartner last February, we asked her about the prospect of prison. "I think they'll kill me [in jail]," she said. "We're at that point. They've done everything else, and I'm not taking back my statements." -- Jared Klaus

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