Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Ind. Courts - More on "Ex-lawyer requests new judge in his theft case"
After a one-hour hearing Monday, a special judge denied a former Wayne County attorney's third request that the judge remove himself from a felony theft case.
Judge J. Steven Cox of Franklin County said he's "heard nothing new here today" and referred to his denial of the first request as the reason that he denied the latest application for a new judge filed by attorney Nathaniel Connor on behalf of E. Thomas Kemp.
However, the issue might reach the Indiana Supreme Court. Previous filings in the case indicated the defense was considering an emergency petition to the state's highest court, asking that the court order Cox to remove himself. The trial had been scheduled to begin Monday, but Cox pushed it back at the prosecution's request until Feb. 27.
Now that Cox has ruled that he will continue presiding over the case, the petition to the Supreme Court remains a possibility.
Cox accepted jurisdiction over the case when Superior Court II Judge Gregory Horn recused himself because of Kemp's prior service as a public defender in Wayne County.
Kemp, 49, is charged with nine counts of Class D felony theft and eight counts of Class A misdemeanor conversion. He is accused of mishandling money in a trust fund in one felony count and accepting money from clients without providing any legal services in the other counts. He ceased his local practice in 2014.
The application for a change of judge said Kemp believes he wouldn't receive a fair and impartial trial under Cox's jurisdiction. The supporting affidavit said Cox twice remarked during a pretrial conference in May that he had never accepted a felony plea agreement that included less than one year of incarceration for the defendant.
Each of the three applications for Cox to remove himself has come following Cox's rejection of a proposed plea agreement.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 25, 2017 10:22 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts