Long-serving Oklahoma Co. judge takes stand in second week of trial to remove embattled judge from office


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Week two of the trial to possibly remove Oklahoma County District Court Judge Kendra Coleman got underway Tuesday with attorneys on both sides making comparisons between her and her colleague, Judge Ray Elliott.

Judge Elliott was on the stand all morning. Prosecutors asked him how he conducts himself in the courthouse and the courtroom, comparing it to what Judge Coleman has been accused of.

“Do you treat anybody with disdain in your courtroom?” prosecutor Tracy Schumacher asked Judge Elliott Tuesday.

“Not in my opinion, no,” Judge Elliott said.

Just months after being elected, Judge Coleman was asked to recuse herself from a deadly dog-mauling case, accused of making biased rulings in favor of an attorney who contributed to her campaign.

In that case, the state suggested she showed bias by only allowing one photo of the victim after the crime into the trial.

“Have you ever limited the photographs in a murder case to one?” Schumacher asked Judge Elliott.

“No, for either side,” he said.

Other accusations against Coleman include failing to pay thousands of dollars in back taxes, and failing to file campaign reports on time.

Judge Coleman has denied all accusations of wrongdoing.

Defense attorneys argue Coleman has been treated unfairly since the beginning of her time on the bench.

In one instance, it was alleged in questioning that Judge Coleman may be a drug user.

“I would assume that in your 21 years of practicing as a district court judge in Oklahoma County you’ve not ever had someone ask you a question whether one of your colleagues has drug problem,” defense attorney Joe White asked Judge Elliott.

White went on to ask Elliott if that claim was made because she is a person of color.

“Do you think, Judge Elliott, that it had anything to do with the fact that Kendra Coleman is an African American woman that is a district judge in Oklahoma county?” White said.

“That thought never crossed my mind, no sir,” Judge Elliott said.

The trial is expected to last two more weeks. Video from inside the courtroom is available via a link shared on the OSCN website.

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