Judge Sent Text Messages during Trial to Help Prosecution
A Texas judge is under investigation, and possibly facing impeachment, for aiding a prosecutor with text messages during a trial.
In August 2012, District Judge Elizabeth Coker reportedly coached prosecutors from the bench during the criminal trial of David Reeves, accused of a felony charge of injury to a child. He was later acquitted.
Coker’s text was sent to Kaycee Jones, who was a prosecutor for the Polk County District Attorney’s Office at the time.
Jones, who was in court as an observer, wrote down Coker’s suggested line of questioning to the defendant and passed it on to Beverly Armstrong, the prosecutor.
The message from Coker to Jones read: “Judge says … baby pooped on (Reeves) — if he threw a dog off the bed because the dog peed on bed what would he do if baby pooped on him?”
In letters sent to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, Jones admitted her part in the texting controversy.
“I deeply regret that I acted in this manner. It was wrong and I knew better. My boss, District Attorney Lee Hon, discussed this incident with me and we agreed that it should not have happened and that it would not happen again.”
Jones, who is now a judge herself, stated she can “now fully appreciate the importance of the impartiality of a judge in a trial and my responsibilities as an attorney not to engage in such conduct. I was wrong and nothing like this will ever happen again.”
Coker, meanwhile, is under investigation by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. In addition, state Representative Harold Dutton has called for her immediate impeachment.
To Learn More:
State Leader Calling for 258th District Judge Coker’s Impeachment (by Vanesa Brashier, Eastex Advocate)
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