Defense attorneys for Christopher Clements want the Judge in the case replaced. They claim his actions after the last trial ended with a hung jury show evidence of bias. This came to light after a hearing to set a new trial was suddenly canceled.
Jurors couldnt agree on a verdict so Judge James Marner declared a mistrial and dismissed them as jurors. Clements attorneys say the judge did something improper after the trial was done.
After the mistrial Judge James Marner met with jurors to thank them for their service.
Former jurors interviewed by the Arizona Daily Star said the judge told them Clements was already found guilty in the kidnapping and killing of 13 year Maribel Gonzales.
In a formal motion to remove the judge from the case, Clements attorneys say revealing that, but not mentioning information that Clements defense says implicates Isabel Celis father Sergio shows a biased mindset that should remove Judge Marner from Clements retrial.
It says in part, …Judge Marners decision to improperly tell the jury negative information about Mr. Clements yet withhold comment about incriminating facts regarding Mr. Celis, shows bias and prejudice against Mr. Clements.
We have not been able to ask Judge Marner for comment on this, normally judges are not allowed to comment on case matters. Our understanding now is its up to the presiding judge to decide what to do next.
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