Oct 31, 2012 1:00 PM

Judge Disqualified In Death Penalty Case

LOUISVILLE (AP) - A Jefferson County judge has been removed from a death penalty case at the request of the defense lawyer, who says the judge is biased toward him and the defendant.

The Courier-Journal reports Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton disqualified Senior Judge Martin McDonald in an order dated Oct. 24.

Assistant Public Advocate David Barron asked this month that McDonald be removed from the case of death row inmate Roger Dale Epperson, who is seeking a new trial. Barron said McDonald made a threatening gesture toward him, threatened to strangle the lawyer if he called the judge's cell phone again and called the lawyer's case "ridiculous."

McDonald has said he was being facetious when he threatened to strangle Barron.

Minton also removed McDonald from a civil case in September.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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