Lincoln County District Judge Traci Soderstrom is new to the bench in Oklahoma but already has better things to do. Courtroom video from the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old child show Soderstrom texting and scrolling through social media postings on Facebook, reports The Oklahoman.
At one point, Soderstrom searched for a GIF, an animated image.
The stories imply the judge's own staff told reporters what to look for.
Soderstrom declined to comment to the newspaper because the verdict could still be appealed, saying judges are prohibited from discussing pending cases. A request for comment from The Associated Press was not immediately returned Thursday. The trial ended in a second-degree manslaughter conviction for Khristian Tyler Martzall in the 2018 death of Braxton Danker. Prosecutors had asked jurors to find him guilty of first-degree murder. Sheriff Charlie Dougherty said Wednesday that at the request of the Oklahoma Council on Judicial Complaints, he provided the state agency with video from the trial. The council receives and investigates accusations of misconduct by judges.
Khristian Tyler Martzall was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, but not murder, in the 2018 killing of Braxton Danker, with jurors recommending he be sentenced only to time served. The child's mother, Judith Danker, took a plea deal that sent her to jail for 25 years for enabling or permitting abuse, to avoid the possibility of the death penalty on a murder charge.
What it is with judges in Oklahoma doing things they shouldn't under the bench.