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Judge Who Refused After-Hours Appeal Re-elected

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DALLAS (AP) – Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller has been re-elected.

Keller defeated defense attorney Keith Hampton, her Democratic challenger.

The Republican had earned the nickname “Killer Keller” by death penalty opponents after she refused an after-hours appeal by a death-row inmate in 2007. Condemned killer Michael Richard was executed that night for the rape and slaying of a Houston-area nurse.

Keller faced removal from the bench in 2010 over that case. But the state Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a “public warning” that later was tossed on appeal.

Keller also was fined $100,000 for not disclosing more than $2 million in property and income on her personal financial statements. She has appealed that fine, the largest in the Texas Ethics Commission’s history.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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