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Entries in Judge (18)

Friday
Dec022011

American Kennel Club Judge Accused of Animal Cruelty, Neglect

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- An American Kennel Club judge could be facing charges of 14 counts of animal cruelty after more than 60 dogs were seized from her home, police said on Thursday.

Authorities in Kings County, Wash., say they could bring charges against Margie Hamilton as early as next week.  The King's County Sheriff's Department seized 62 dogs from her home, 15 of which had to be euthanized because they were so ill.

The investigation was sparked by a video sent anonymously to Pasado's Safe Haven, an animal rescue group.  The rescue group conducted its own investigation first, finding 38 additional dogs that they believe belonged to Hamilton at a different location. Members then turned over what they found to authorities.

"We were shocked to find out her status in the animal world.  She spent decades in the animal world, not only as an AKC judge but involved in many dog groups.  So it's shocking to see this kind of neglect coming from a person who has so much experience in the animal world," said Amber Chenoweth, spokeswoman for Pasado's.

Chenoweth said the dogs were living in small kennels, stacked up on top of one another, and filled with feces and urine.  The dogs were mainly Pomeranians, Chihuahas and Japanese Chins, she said.

"She has owned some of the top Chihuahuas in the world.  I wonder if the dogs stuffed in the basement were past show dogs that were not making money anymore," she said.

All three breeds are listed on the AKC website as breeds that Hamilton is approved to judge in dog shows.

The surviving dogs have been placed with an animal sanctuary and are up for adoption.

Hamilton, of Issaquah, Wash., said on the advice of her attorney that she would not comment on the investigation while it was ongoing. She did say there was "a great deal to the story," and she looks forward to commenting when the legal process is finished.

Hamilton is listed on the AKC website as having judged dog shows in Washington, Utah, and California in past years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov282011

Texas Judge Who Beat Daughter Sought Suspension, Lawyer Says

Hillary Adams speaking with ABC News(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- A prominent Texas judge who was placed on leave while the court investigates the circumstances surrounding a video of him beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her proposed the suspension himself, his lawyer said.

Judge William Adams and the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct filed a joint motion to temporarily suspend his official duties as presiding judge during the course of the investigation.  The Texas Supreme Court approved the motion last Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Adams had already taken immediate voluntary leave upon learning that the video of "a family disciplinary event" had been made public, his lawyer William Dudley of Corpus Christi, Texas, said in a statement Sunday.

"The agreed temporary suspension is neither a fault sanction imposed by the Texas Supreme Court following an adversarial hearing, a finding of fault or wrongdoing by the commission, or admission of fault or wrongdoing by Judge Adams," Dudley said.

The suspension will allow the commission to "investigate allegations in a complete and yet expedient manner," he said.

After the video went viral on the Internet earlier this month, Adams said that he was merely disciplining his child and did nothing wrong.

"No, in my mind I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing.  And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologized," he Adams told KZTV.

Hillary Adams, the daughter who is seen being beaten in the video, secretly recorded the beating seven years ago and recently uploaded it to YouTube on Oct. 27.  The video was then posted on Reddit, a link-sharing website, where it racked up millions of views and incited anger among viewers.

"I just wanted somebody to see it and tell me, 'No, Hillary this wasn't right and I'm glad you were able to grow up and move on past this' and 'No, your dad wasn't right,'" Hillary Adams told ABC News' Chris Cuomo.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov232011

Texas Judge Seen Beating Daughter in YouTube Video Suspended

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The Texas judge who was seen hitting his 16-year-old daughter with a belt in a 2004 video that garnered millions of views when it hit the Internet, has been suspended by the state Supreme Court.

Judge William Adams of Arnasas County, Texas, was suspended with pay pending an investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the court announced Tuesday.

Hillary Adams, the daughter who is seen in the video, secretly recorded the beating seven years ago and uploaded it to YouTube on Oct. 27.  The video was then posted on the link-sharing website Reddit, where it racked up millions of views and incited anger among viewers.

In the video, Judge Adams is seen beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her.  He has previously said that he does not feel that he did anything wrong, because he was meting out parental discipline: “No, in my mind I haven’t done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing.  And I did lose my temper, but I’ve since apologized,” the judge told CBS News' Corpus Christie, Texas affiliate KZTV after the video went viral on the Internet.

Both Hillary and William Adams have said the beating took place as punishment for then-16-year-old Hillary illegally downloading from the Internet.  She said the beatings were a regular part of her life during those years, but she did not publish the video until now because she feared it would incite more violence.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced publicly on Nov. 2 that it had opened the investigation.  William Adams has not sat on the bench since the video went viral; he insisted in a statement that she released the video when he threatened to cut off his financial support if she dropped out of college.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov042011

Texas Judge Who Beat Daughter Not Sorry, Says It Was 'Discipline'

ABC News(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- A prominent Texas judge who was filmed beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her said he was merely disciplining his child and did nothing wrong.

"No, in my mind I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing.  And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologized," Judge William Adams told KZTV Wednesday after the video went viral on the Internet.

Hillary Adams, the daughter who is seen being beaten in the video, secretely recorded the beating seven years ago and recently uploaded it to YouTube on Oct. 27.  The video was then posted on Reddit, a link-sharing website, where it racked up millions of views and incited anger among viewers.

"I just wanted somebody to see it and tell me, 'No, Hillary this wasn't right and I'm glad you were able to grow up and move on past this' and 'No, your dad wasn't right,'" Hillary Adams told ABC News' Chris Cuomo.

Both Hillary and William Adams have said the beating took place as punishment for then-16-year-old Hillary illegally downloading from the Internet.  It was shot in 2004 by a secret camera Hillary set up when she anticipated her father might beat her.  She said the beatings were a regular part of her life during those years, but she did not publish the video until now because she feared it would incite more violence.

"Another fight was getting out of control and I knew the beating was coming so I just waited," Hillary Adams said.

Hillary and her mother, Hallie Adams, have since moved out of the family home.  The family has not said where a younger daughter, age 11, is living.

The Aransas County Court, where William Adams has his office, posted a sign canceling his hearings for Thursday, according to ABC News affiliate Kiii-TV.  Phone calls to the judge's home and office went unanswered that day.

Neighbors told the news station that the judge and his girlfriend were seen leaving Wednesday after taking belongings from their home, including bags, hanging clothes, a briefcase, a laptop, and six to eight gun cases.

The video, which prompted thousands of calls of complaint to the courthouse, sheriff's office, and police department, also prompted a police investigation into the matter.  Authorities will try to authenticate the video and then turn it over to the district attorney, who can then present it to a grand jury.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

Family Court Judge Caught Beating Ill Daughter on Videotape

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- Police Wednesday began investigating a Texas family law judge who was videotaped beating his cerebral palsy-stricken daughter with a belt.

Judge William Adams, who has ruled on child abuse cases throughout his career, is seen in a webcam video from 2004 beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her for close to 10 minutes. The daughter, Hillary Adams, secretly taped the encounter but only recently uploaded it to YouTube and the social sharing site Reddit.

"Judge William Adams took a belt to his own teenage daughter as punishment for using the Internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time," Hillary Adams, now 23, wrote in the text accompanying the video.

Hillary Adams was 16 when the video was made, and, as a lifelong sufferer of cerebral palsy, said she had a passion for technology that her father detested. She said she received the beating for using her computer when she was forbidden from doing so.

The video went viral on Reddit, racking up more than 500,000 views since it was first uploaded Oct. 27, and inspiring the wrath of the community of readers there, who posted his home address, phone number and workplace contact information.

Readers reportedly began sending pizzas to the judge's home all through the night after it was posted and encouraged viewers from all over the country to call the police, sheriff and judicial departments of Aransas County to demand an investigation.

On Wednesday, Aransas County Court, which employed the judge, said the matter is now under investigation by police. The court confirmed that the man in the video was William Adams.

"My father's harassment was getting really bad, so I decided to finally publish the video that I had been sitting on for seven years," Hillary Adams told ABC News affiliate KXTV.

"It had happened before, and had been escalating," Adams said. "I set up a camera, and I caught it."

Judge Adams also spoke to the news station, claiming that "it's not as bad as it looks on tape."

"It happened years ago...I apologized," he told the station.

The judge also said he has notified the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates and prosecutes allegations of misconduct by judges in Texas. Adams said that "more will come out" during the investigation.

Hillary Adams has since tweeted about the explosion of attention the video has received, asking her supporters not to hate her father, but instead to try and get her father to seek help.

"It is my wish that people stop threatening my father and start offering professional help. That is what he really needs," she wrote. "I'm feeling some regret for publishing the video because to ruin my own father is heavy indeed. But I really want him to seek help."

A Facebook page opposing the judge's re-election has also been established.

Calls to Judge Adams' office went unreturned. Efforts to contact Hillary Adams also went unreturned.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug122011

Ex-Judge Who Packed Kids' Detention Center for Profit Sent to Prison

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- A former Pennsylvania judge got a taste of his own medicine Thursday when he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for a scheme involving taking kickbacks from a for-profit detention center, where he routinely sent youngsters whether they deserved to go or not.

Mark Ciavarella, who presided over the court in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, was found guilty earlier this year of twelve counts of racketeering, conspiracy, fraud and filing false tax returns -- all in connection with a scheme in which he received nearly $1 million in payments.

According to prosecutors, Ciavarella and another judge who already pleaded guilty in the case used their influence to shut down the public juvenile center and then helped a developer and builder set up a for-profit facility.

Prosecutor Gordon Zubrod accused Ciavarella of selling kids wholesale and said he deserved to be sentenced "for the rest of his natural life" for keeping the detention center packed with teens and pre-teens who didn't deserve their punishments, which sometimes lasted three or four years.

Ciavarella's attorney argued the sentence was too harsh and at 61, the ex-judge will likely die in prison.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul212011

Caught on Tape: New Mexico Judge Charged with Raping Prostitute

Pixland/Comstock/Thinkstock(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- A long-serving New Mexico criminal court judge has been arrested on charges that he raped a prostitute who videotaped the encounter and sold it to undercover Albuquerque detectives.

Judge Albert "Pat" Murdoch was arrested on Tuesday on charges of criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness. Murdoch presides over the criminal division for the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court and is a well-known and respected judge who has been serving for 26 years.

If convicted, Murdoch could be sentenced to up to five years in prison. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

One of his most high-profile cases was the 2010 Desert Divas case, regarding a prostitution ring. He ultimately suppressed the prostitution ring's client list.

Murdoch has also made rulings in numerous prostitution and rape cases, and Albuquerque Police Department Commander Doug West said there is a "good possibility" that the judge's arrest "has the potential to put all the cases in jeopardy."

The alleged victim in the charges against Murdoch is an Albuquerque woman who said Murdoch contacted her after seeing her advertisement for sexual services online. She said she met with him and he took her to his home where she was paid $200 for sexual favors, according to court documents.

The woman told detectives that she went to Murdoch's home eight times and that he forcibly performed oral sex on her, despite her objections to oral sex. After he did this a first time, she said, she hid a video camera in his room and recorded him forcibly doing this to her again amid her protests.

The police report said "her statement was supported by the video" and that her protests were audible on the tape.

West said the case cannot be tried in front of the district attorney in Bernalillo County because so many of the community members are the judge's friends and clients. The Supreme Court will have to decide in which county or district the case can be heard.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr072011

New York Juror's Racist Remarks Outrages Judge

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A federal judge in Brooklyn became infuriated with a potential juror this week after she made racist comments about blacks and Latinos and called New York City police lazy, in what some in the courtroom viewed as an attempt to evade jury duty.  But instead, the judge ordered her to keep coming to court indefinitely.

The judge later relented, releasing the woman after a day of duty in which she sat alone in a holding tank.  He allowed her to sneak out the back door to avoid the media.

The potential juror's responses on the jury questionnaire raised the ire of U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis.

After reading through her questionnaire and seeing the disparaging remarks, Garaufis told the woman, "This is an outrage, and so are you!"

The identity of Juror No. 799 has not been released, but public court records revealed that she is in her 20s, lives in Brooklyn, is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Asian descent who works for a large garment production company.

The woman has been dismissed from the death penalty trial of alleged mob boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, but officials initially said she could serve as a juror in another trial.

"I have 18 years on the job and I've seen every excuse in the book," said Anthony Frisolone, the court reporter who took transcriptions of the proceedings.  "It's deplorable that people try this stuff.  I find it offensive."

It's unclear whether Juror No. 799 made the statements in her questionnaire because she was trying to duck jury duty or if she really had such beliefs.  Garaufis' law clerk, John Fitzpatrick, said the judge was unable to comment on the issue or elaborate on how long the juror might be required to stay on jury duty.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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