Trials & Litigation

Juvenile judge facing felony case goes off on special prosecutor, says she cannot get a fair trial

A lawyer representing suspended Ohio juvenile court Judge Tracie Hunter tried to stop her, as did the presiding judge in the felony case in which Hunter is being prosecuted. But, apparently angered by an in-court claim by a special prosecutor that she has “a history of trying to game and manipulate the system,” Judge Tracie Hunter stood up at a Thursday hearing and told special prosecutor R. Scott Croswell III what she thought, at considerable length.

“Before I am a judge I am a pastor of a church and I take great exception to your disparaging of my name in this courtroom today. I wasn’t sure what you meant by the term this defendant is gaming the system, the only gaming that is going on is by the Hamilton County Juvenile Court,” Hunter said as she launched into her speech.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, which provides a video of the courtroom incident, says that her lawyer, Clyde Bennett II had succeeded earlier in preventing his client from addressing the court but not this time. WLWT and WKRC also have stories.

As Hunter goes on—contending that the special prosecutors know she hasn’t done anything wrong, and the only wrongdoing is by the Hamilton County Juvenile Court—the presiding judge, Norbert Nadel, also tries to curtail the diatribe. He tells Hunter that a speech is unnecessary because the case will be decided on the facts and urges her to address the court, rather than the special prosecutors she has turned to face, Hunter then zings him as well, telling him that it appears she cannot get a fair trial.

She is scheduled to go on trial next month on felony charges alleging that she backdated court documents and misused a court credit card.

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