Most lawyers probably have stories about angry judges. If they told you any, the tales might look something like this. Shortly before the start of Amber Guyger‘s murder trial, the defense filed for a mistrial because Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot spoke with Fox 4 News the night before opening statements were set to begin.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of detective work to figure out that Judge Tammy Kemp was thoroughly unhappy with the development. After all, there was a gag order on the case. She rolled her eyes in apparent anger, turned around in her chair, and stood to face the court.
“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.”
You can see the judge responding at 11:30 in the clip above. The prosecutor in court said he only learned about the interview this morning, and hadn’t spoken to Creuzot about it. In any case, the defense didn’t get their way. Kemp reviewed the footage, and declined the motion. Opening statements began Monday afternoon.
It’s been a heck of a day. Monday morning was taken up with motions before the trial. It’s given that judges like to maintain orders in their court, and that’s definitely been the case with the Guyger trial. The defendant, a white police officer, is charged with intruder into her black neighbor Botham Shem Jean‘s apartment, and shooting him. She told 911 that she mistakenly believed at first that this was her home, not his.
Kemp quickly set the rules for court someone started to play music at around the beginning of the day. She scolded the woman for bringing a laptop in court, and told her to give the gadget to the bailiff.
“You’ve been here more than anybody,” said Kemp. “You’ve been here almost every time we had court. I don’t even know how this could happen.”
All told, an awkward start to a very fraught trial.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]