OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma County judge, who has been indicted for failing to file her income tax returns, has now denied her own recusal.
“We’re gonna proceed. We’ll go as high as we need to go,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said.
In a Thursday hearing, Oklahoma County Judge Kendra Coleman denied her own recusal after the district attorney demanded she step back from her criminal cases.
Prater argued Coleman “has allowed campaign contributions to influence both her decisions and judicial demeanor.”
The district attorney used the Antwon Burks case from 2017 as an example. Burks was supposed to go to trial in May after an elderly woman was mauled to death by his dogs, but it was delayed.
Prater said Coleman took on the case even though Burks’ attorney donated to Coleman’s campaign.
“We’re going to keep doing what we do and that’s seek justice for the citizens of Oklahoma and make sure have an unbiased judge to hear our cases, especially women who get attacked by pit bulls and killed,” Prater said.
While Coleman declined to comment with News 4, she said during the hearing she “has not heard anything from the state of Oklahoma that this court is biased.” Continuing to add there is “no legal authority for what Mr. Prater has requested.”
“No, not at all because she had already written it out. That was State’s exhibit number one. She wrote out everything. Her conclusions of law. Her findings of facts and exactly what she was gonna do,” Prater said when asked if Thursday’s decision was surprising.
Allegations of racism from the district attorney's office were also brought up in court, but with little to no answers.
“Unfortunately, Judge Prince got on the stand and refused to answer. He’s a fact witness. He knows exactly what I was asking and why I was asking it. I believe we’ll get a ruling that will overcome his attempt to not testify,” Prater said.
Prater said the district attorney’s office will appeal the decision, next going to the presiding judge. Prater said he plans to file that appeal by the end of the day.