NewsJudge Resigns After Being Accused Of Texting During Murder Trial

Judge Resigns After Being Accused Of Texting During Murder Trial

This might deserve a retrial…..

Lincoln County District Judge Traci Soderstrom agreed to resign as part of a settlement with the state after being accused of inappropriate conduct on the bench and was petitioned to be removed from office.

The investigation by the Council on Judicial Complaints also found that Soderstrom and the courtroom bailiff mocked a prosecutor’s appearances. In one of their exchanges, the petition cited the judge saying that the district attorney was “sweating through his coat.” In another text message, Soderstrom asked, “Why does he have baby hands?…/they are so weird looking.” 

Soderstrom took a strong liking to the defense attorney, texting her bailiff, “She’s awesome,” before later asking, according to the filing, “Can I clap for her?” the filing said. She also showed strong admiration for a police officer who took the stand, stating he was “pretty””before adding, “I could look at him all day.””

Soderstrom also speculated if a juror wearing a wig. During the trial, she offered her opinion of the outcome, alleging writing there would be “no way they get guilty on murder” due to a lack of DNA evidence against the defendant.

As part of a press conference, Soderstrom took some accountability for her actions. “There were some things that I did inappropriately,” Soderstrom said, according to ABC News. “I texted during a trial. It doesn’t matter whether it was a traffic case or whether it was a divorce case or whether it was a first-degree murder case. I texted during the trial and that was inappropriate.”

However, things changed some as she defended how her texts were characterized and disputed any bias on her. 

“The content and the insinuation and the volume and the length of those things I am not agreeing to it because it doesn’t matter,” she added. “And it didn’t make up my mind. Even if I had, it wouldn’t have mattered because I was not the fact-finder.” 

Outside Soderstrom’s fate, the defendant on trial was eventually found guilty of second-degree manslaughter by the jury.

Source: Black Enterprise

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