Defense attorneys fight to keep Oklahoma County Judge Kendra Coleman on bench in last week of trial

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One after the other, supporters of Oklahoma County District Judge Kendra Coleman took the stand Tuesday on the first day of the last week of the trial to remove her from office.

“The majority of our community right now stands with Kendra Coleman,” said John Reed, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Northeast Oklahoma City.

Pastor Reed was among court staff, attorneys and child or victim advocates who took the stand to speak on behalf of Judge Coleman’s character.

Elected in 2018, Judge Coleman has been accused of owing thousands in back taxes, failing to file campaign records on time and making biased rulings in favor of a campaign donor.

Last week, several victims’ advocates, other attorneys and court staff took the stand and accused her of being abusive to both attorneys and litigants in the courtroom.

This week, defense attorney Joe White is tasked with proving the judge deserves to keep her job.

“In terms of judge Coleman, her demeanor on the VPO docket, how would you describe it?” White asked attorney Joi Miskel.

“Comparable to every other judge on that VPO docket,” Miskel replied.

Joe has been trying to make a case that her actions are no different than her peers on the bench, and that instead, Coleman was treated differently, particularly by attorneys and the district attorney’s office.

“If they were trying to prove their case, she would ask them for case law,” court clerk Karen Colbert said in court. “And one attorney said, ‘It’s common sense, judge,’ and I’m like, ‘Wow.”

Pastor Reed called the trial against her the culmination of a “witch hunt” fueled by a personal vendetta and race discrimination.

“Trying to manipulate her in the courtroom and all of that, I saw all of that,” the pastor said of District Attorney David Prater. “And I saw his anger, and all of that. He had become completely angry because he could not completely manipulate this African American woman.”

As for the numerous witnesses who have spoken against her during this trial, Pastor Reed said those were also personal opinions and don’t weigh on her job performance.

“Most folks you know that have been up in front of a judge and if it didn’t go their way, I’ve heard so many people say derogatory things about judges, so that’s par for the course,” he said.

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