Texas Lawyer Admits to Exchanging Text Messages With Judge During Trial
A southeast Texas district judge has admitted to exchanging text messages from another judge during a trial while serving as an assistant district attorney.
Polk County District Court Judge Kaycee L. Jones, formerly an assistant DA, admitted to the Texas State Bar to receiving text messages from Judge Elizabeth Coker during an injury to a child case, according to an investigative report from KPRC Local 2.
Jones was not the practicing attorney during the case, but according to the report, she received the messages from Coker with instructions to pass on the information to the residing prosecutor.
Jones wrote a letter to the Texas State Bar admitting to the wrongdoing. Here is part of her letter:
"On August 8, 2012, I did receive a text message from Judge Coker that suggested a line of questioning in an Injury to a Child trial over which she was presiding and telling me to tell the trial prosecutor. I was not the trial prosecutor and had nothing to do with the investigation or prosecution of the case, but I was present in the courtroom for portions of the trial as an observer. When I received the text, I hand wrote the text verbatim and asked our investigator to deliver it to the prosecutor who was trying the case...
I deeply regret that I acted in this manner. It was wrong and I knew better."
The defendant in the case was found not guilty, but it has raised questions on the validity of the case depending on when the text messages were sent and received.