Oh, it was just a texas court

Texas Inmate Says Judge and Prosecutor Had Affair – NYTimes.com

The papers, filed in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, argue that the relationship between the judge, Verla Sue Holland, and the man who was district attorney of Collin County, Tom O’Connell, should nullify the conviction of the inmate, Charles Hood, in 1990.

The filing says that Judge Holland had a “personal and direct interest in the outcome of the case” and that “the wall of silence that has long protected Judge Holland must now come down.”

“Under these circumstances,” Gregory Wiercioch, Mr. Hood’s lead lawyer, said in an interview, “Judge Holland had a clear duty to let the parties know about her relationship and to recuse herself, because anybody knowing these facts would be shocked that she presided over this capital murder trial.”

Neither Mr. O’Connell, 66, who has practiced law in Plano after retiring as a prosecutor in 2001, nor Ms. Holland, also 66, responded to phone messages.

The petitions include an affidavit from a former assistant district attorney, Matthew Goeller, who said that the six-year relationship between Judge Holland and Mr. O’Connell was “common knowledge” and that it raised “reasonable doubt on the judge’s capacity to act impartially.”

Although you do have to wonder, if it was common knowledge at the time and nationally reported 3 years ago, why it only comes up now.


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