Christopher Clements’ attorneys appeared in court Wednesday asking to remove Judge James Marner from future proceedings related to Clements’ trial for the kidnapping and killing of 6-year-old Isabel Celis in 2012.

That request for a new judge has been denied.

In the motion to replace Marner on the bench, Clements’ attorneys Eric Kessler and Joseph DiRoberto argued that a statement the judge had made to jurors about Clements’ prior murder and kidnapping conviction in 2022 showed bias.

According to Kessler and DiRoberto, Marner had made a comment to the jury prior to their verdict about Clements’ conviction in the 2014 kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez.

The court, presided over by Judge Renee Bennett, found no evidence however that there was bias or an establishment of bias. The court further found that the evidence presented did not establish that Marner’s comments were either critical or favorable toward that conviction.

The statements Marner made to jurors were determined to all be matters of public record; the court says he made no statements referring to any pending matters.

The Celis kidnapping and murder trial ended in mistrial. Clements has been sentenced to natural life in prison for the Gonzalez murder.

Clements’ next hearing is scheduled for May.