Monday, September 8, 2008

Update: Depositions ordered in Hood case

State District Judge Greg Brewer has ordered retired Judge Verla Sue Holland and former Collin County D.A. Tom O'Connell to testify under oath regarding their alleged affair while Charles Dean Hood's case was being tried.

Mr. O'Connell was deposed by attorneys representing Mr. Hood for two hours on Monday evening. He refused to comment after leaving the courthouse following his deposition. Judge Holland is scheduled to be deposed on Tuesday morning.

Earlier in the day, Judge Holland's attorney, Bill Boyd, sought to have the case moved to federal court under the theory that Mr. Hood was pursuing a civil rights claim. Mr. Hood's attorneys argued that the matter before the state court was a preliminary matter and that there was no federal jurisdiction over the case.

U.S. District Judge Richard Schell agreed with Mr. Hood's attorneys and ordered the case back to state court.

Mr. Boyd seemed more upset that Mr. Hood's attorneys moved for depositions 18 years after the trial in which Mr. Hood was convicted, than he was in whether or not Judge Holland was sleeping with Mr. O'Connell at the time of Mr. Hood's trial.

Gov. Perry has yet to make a decision on Mr. Hood's request for a reprieve from the executioner.

In a related development (for a story that just seems to get more bizarre each passing day) an assistant attorney general who used to represent Judge Holland, has filed a grievance against Attorney General Greg Abbott just days after Mr. Abbott sent a letter to the Collin County District Attorney urging him to look into the allegations of the affair between Judge Holland and Mr. O'Connell.

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