An Oklahoma court.

An Oklahoma judge resigned after she was caught sending hundreds of texts during a murder trial.She mocked prosecutors and witnesses, including saying the deceased child’s mother was a “liar.”Her resignation came before she was due to trial in a special court on Monday.

An Oklahoma judge has stepped down after she was caught sending hundreds of text messages while presiding over a murder trial concerning the death of a two-year-old boy.

Lincoln County District Judge Traci Soderstrom exchanged more than 500 texts with a bailiff in which she mocked prosecutors and witnesses, including the mother of the deceased toddler Braxton Danker, the Associated Press reported.

Khristian Martzall, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, was on trial and was later convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

The chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Justice John Kane IV, recommended her removal from the bench in October over accusations of gross neglect of duty, lack of proper temperament, and other grounds, the AP reported.

The move to oust Soderstrom came about after the Oklahoman published 50 minutes of security footage, which showed Soderstrom sending messages for minutes while in the courtroom.

In Kane’s petition, he said that an investigation into her texts revealed she described the defense attorney as “awesome” and wanted to “clap for her.”

By contrast, she mocked a prosecutor for “sweating through his coat” and made fun of jurors’ hair and teeth.

She also texted a laughing emoji icon to the bailiff, who “made a crass and demeaning reference” to the prosecuting attorney’s genitals. 

When the deceased child’s mother took the stand as the prosecution’s key witness, she sent a text saying: “Can I please scream ‘liar, liar?’”

Other texts appeared to show the judge expressing her opinion that the defendant was innocent.

Soderstrom decided to step down before she was due to go on trial in a special court on Monday, per the AP.

The judge, who took office last year, said that she decided to step down rather than see out the trial because she did not believe it would be fair.

In a resignation statement published by local media, Soderstrom said that when she took office, she “promised to uphold the Constitution in a fair, even-handed and efficient manner.”

“In spite of resistance at nearly every turn, I believe that I have done so. However, being human, I have also faltered,” she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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