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DA Says Judge Being Probed for Pulling Out Gun, Telling Woman She Might as Well Shoot Her Lawyer

Posted Feb 27, 2012 8:04 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Georgia judge is reportedly facing an ethics investigation after the district attorney reported a bizarre courtroom incident last week involving a gun and an unusual offer to an alleged domestic assault victim.

Judge David Barrett, chief judge of the Enotah Judicial Circuit, was making “a poor rhetorical point” during a hearing on a protective order, according to District Attorney Jeff Langley. The DA told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Barrett pulled out his gun, told the victim she was “killing her case,” and advised her, “You might as well shoot your lawyer.”

The woman's lawyer, Andrea Conarro of Dahlonega, described the scene as “one of those slow motion kind of events,” the newspaper says. Her client viewed the offer as a kind of test or credibility determination, and did not appear to be traumatized, she said.

Judges are allowed to keep concealed weapons on the bench under Georgia law, the newspaper says. Barrett did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

Last updated at 9:30 a.m. with new headline and url; previously updated at 7:22 a.m. to fix a typo in a reference to Andrea Conarro.

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