Legal Ethics

Judge texted during trial to help state, says ex-prosecutor

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A former prosecutor who is now a Texas judge has admitted in a letter that she aided another judge who, it is claimed, sent texts during a 2012 trial in an effort to help the state with its case.

Kaycee L. Jones, who is now a 411th Judicial District judge said in a letter to the Texas State Bar that Judge Elizabeth Coker, who sits in the 258th Judicial District, used her to relay the texts to a colleague trying the case, reports KPRC.

“On August 8, 2012, I did receive a text message from Judge Coker that suggested a line of questioning in an injury to a child trial over which she was presiding and telling me to tell the trial prosecutor,” writes Jones in an April 2013 letter, which was obtained by the station. “I was not the trial prosecutor and had nothing to do with the investigation or prosecution of the case, but I was present in the courtroom for portions of the trial as an observer. When I received the text, I hand wrote the text verbatim and asked our investigator to deliver it to the prosecutor who was trying the case.”

Jones adds, “I deeply regret that I acted in this manner. It was wrong and I knew better.”

A legal ethics investigation was launched against Coker after a sheriff’s investigator in the Polk County felony case against David Reeves complained, the Houston Chronicle (sub. req.) and KTRE reported earlier this year.

The KPRC article includes a link to the claimed texts.

The articles don’t include any comment from Coker or Jones and KTRE said both declined to comment while the ethics investigation is pending.

Reeves was acquitted.

See also:

Chronicle: “Editorial: A judge texting is taboo”

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