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10-30-12, 10:34 PM #1
Galveston County judge accused of profanity, abuse
GALVESTON - A Galveston County district judge screamed at a pregnant woman appearing in his court on a drug charge, swearing and telling her she was worthless before tearing up papers, throwing them in the air and stalking from the courtroom, according to the woman's attorney.
"It was horrible," Houston attorneyWesley Clements said about the alleged behavior of District Judge Lonnie Cox. "When he started yelling like that at the top of his lungs, it got my attention."
The allegations are in a motion filed by Clements asking that Cox remove himself from a plea hearing in the probation violation case of Maricelda Marie Aguilar, 22, of Alvin.
Clements said he was in the process of filing a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct about Cox's conduct during the Oct. 5 hearing.
Cox said he was unable to comment about an ongoing case. He filed an order refusing to recuse himself and referring the recusal decision to the presiding judge for the 2nd Administrative Judicial Region, Montgomery County District Judge Olen Underwood.
Aguilar, now seven months pregnant, has been in the Galveston County Jail since July for violating her probation on an earlier drug conviction. She learned shortly before her arrest that she was pregnant and while in jail has developed a bacterial infection she fears could harm the fetus, she said in a written statement attached the recusal motion. Clements said she also has a condition that cannot be fully diagnosed until after Aguilar gives birth.
The Galveston County drug court had obtained Cox's agreement to move Aguilar from the Montgomery County Jail to a drug rehabilitation center until she gave birth, allowing her mother to accompany her for medical treatment when necessary, Clements said.
Probation Department Director Janis Bane said the District Attorney's Office approved the agreement. "It sounded like a good option and a good use of our resources," Bane said. Nevertheless, the department will respect the judge's decision, she said.
At the hearing, Cox became agitated when he discovered that Aguilar had missed several meetings with her probation officer, according to the recusal motion. "The judge while sitting on the bench in open court looked at the plea papers and then screamed, 'This is s---. This kind of b------- is not what the drug court should be doing and it is just costing the taxpayers money,'" the motion states.
The judge told Aguilar she was worthless and asked "if she thought he would turn her loose to kill the child," the motion states. "He told the defendant she was worthless and then told the defendant she was not worth the paper and ink that the plea agreement was written on and proceeded to rip the papers to shreds and throw the papers in the air.
"Then he stormed out of the courtroom."
Galveston County judge accused of profanity, abuse - Houston ChronicleDo not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
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