Reporting Jack Fink
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins’ lawyers called a fired Dallas County employee to testify to help prove that the Judge who held him in contempt, Lena Levario, is biased against him.
The DA’s attorneys want Judge Levario removed from the case and her contempt charge against Watkins dropped.
During the hearing, Jill Reese, who was fired last Monday as jail population coordinator and who used to work with Judge Levario and other judges, testified that Judge Levario made various comments about the DA over lunch this past May.
Reese testified that Judge Levario said, “When I get finished with Craig Watkins, I’m going to serve him up to the FBI on a silver platter…”
Reese also testified that Judge Levario said Watkins “…would definitely see the inside of a jail cell when this was all over with…” and that “…Watkins thinks he’s above the law and a superstar, and I’m going to knock him off his pedestal…”
An attorney for the DA’s office, Russell Wilson says, “What we believe is we proved that a regular member of the public knowing all of these facts would have a fair question as to whether Judge Levario could be fair and impartial in this case.”
But Robert Hinton, the attorney appointed to represent Judge Levario rejected Reese’s allegations. “It wasn’t said.”
When asked if Reese was making this up, Hinton said, “You bet your life she’s making it up. It’s not credible at all.”
Two other employees at the lunch table that day in May testified they didn’t hear Judge Levario make those remarks.
This controversy began this past March, when the DA refused to answer questions on the witness stand as to why he decided to prosecute oil heir Albert Hill the third on mortgage fraud charges.
As a result, the Judge threw out the case against Hill, and found Watkins in contempt.
What happens next in this case depends on whether Judge Levario is removed or allowed to stay on.
Arguments resume Monday afternoon.
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