Judge Tammy Kemp was recused from the ongoing contempt of court case against Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot on Friday, according to CBS DFW.
This is the judge who presided over the trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in the murder of Botham Shem Jean. Kemp’s actions after Guyger was sentenced sparked national controversy.
The defendant testified that she accidentally entered the victim’s apartment thinking it was hers, and shot him believing he was an intruder. Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime.
Kemp had put a gag order on the case, but as seen on video, the defense complained about Creuzot giving a media interview. The DA’s segment was televised on September 22, the day before trial began.
You can see Kemp’s response starting at about 11:30 in the video above.
“So let me be clear,” she said. “On last night, the evening prior to the start of this trial, our elected DA did an interview about this trial.”
Jurors told the court they didn’t hear Creuzot speak to the press. Nonetheless, Kemp was holding the DA responsible.
Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus testified in the contempt hearing that that Kemp said Creuzot violated the gag order on purpose. Hermus said he suggested that if there was a violation, then it was “inadvertent.”
“She denied it,” he said. “I don’t believe she accepted that. She told me to stop defending my boss.”
Guyger defense lawyer Toby Shook married Hermus’ story, and said that Kemp apparently criticized one of Creuzot’s policies.
“That citizens would not obey or follow the law I think she said,” he said. “But she didn’t name a specific program.”
Retired judge Robert Brotherton took Kemp off the case.
As for Creuzot, he has a denied violating the gag order.
“Number one, all I said was I thought the murder charge was appropriate, and that is well within public comment,” he told The Law&Crime Network in an October interview. “I have a First Amendment right to say that, and it did not violate specific provisions of the gag order. The other thing I said was that I had no idea how the jury would see the case, or what the verdict would be.”
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]
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