Judge Trudy White might not hear cases involving criminals anymore
BATON ROUGE – Some district court judges are interested in switching jobs, meaning Judge Trudy White could leave the criminal court system days after an Investigative Unit report on concern over her record of bonds given to repeat offenders.
Judge Donald Johnson initiated the request - he wants to move from civil to criminal court. White would agree to move from criminal to civil court – the move would be within the 19th Judicial District Court where she is an elected judge.
The request comes after reports of recurring problems with the man accused of running over and killing a Zachary Police officer who, months before, had been flagged as a concern.
"Notify Judge White of new arrest," Judge Richard Anderson wrote in court documents obtained by the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit. Anderson's note appeared on bond paperwork for Albert Franklin.
Franklin, 33, was charged with first degree murder and hit-and-run related to the death of reserve Zachary officer Christopher Lawton. Lawton was attempting to arrest Franklin related to accusations he beat his girlfriend with an AR-15 rifle when, authorities said, Franklin tried to drive away and fatally ran over Lawton with a U-Haul truck.
In addition to concerns over White's decisions related to bonds, she has apologized for a 2014 re-election campaign video that some interpreted as the judge pandering to criminals with a message she'd help them get off. The video, first reported by WBRZ in October 2014, showed White with Jomo Jenkins inside a courtroom wearing a prison orange outfit.
In the video, Jenkins said: " I'm down here at the 19th (Judicial District Court). But check this out: I ain't gonna be here for that long, because Judge Trudy White is fixing to send me back home. So if you want somebody to show you some love, vote for Trudy White on November the 4th."
The video, which was posted on the internet, was later removed.
Judges will discuss the possible move at a meeting next week.
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