The Associated Press title Taurus Circuit Court Judge: I won’t comment on Trump article The Taurus County judge who presided over a murder trial in Taurus last year says he will not comment on President Donald Trump’s comments that he’s prepared to pardon convicted murderers and said he has no plans to do so.
Judge William F. Haddad said he doesn’t believe Trump is the right person to talk about the pardons, and he said he hasn’t spoken with him about any such plans.
“I don’t believe he’s the person to make any comment on these matters,” Haddas said.
He said he didn’t believe anyone would take the pardoning of murderers seriously.
The Taurus case began with a murder charge in 2015 when William A. Johnson was charged with killing his wife, Elizabeth L. Johnson, who was pregnant with his daughter.
He pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and received a life sentence.
He was released on parole in May 2017.
In his opinion, Haddads said the state of Texas had shown no interest in prosecuting Johnson for the murder, but rather for other crimes.
Johnson was convicted in 2014 of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a child, which was a first-time crime.
He received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
He appealed the conviction and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction, finding the prosecutor’s office improperly withheld key evidence.
Hadiya Pendleton, the prosecutor, said she would appeal the conviction to the United States Supreme Court.
Johnson appealed that decision and the case went to trial.
Hads said Johnson, a registered Republican, received a special prosecutor who didn’t represent other defendants in the case.
He wasn’t told the special prosecutor had the power to prosecute the case as well, Hads wrote.
Haddads wrote that in the course of his investigation of the case, he found Johnson had a long history of misconduct and said that his behavior had been problematic.
The judge concluded Johnson “has shown an utter disregard for the law.”
“The State has offered no evidence to support Mr. Johnson’s claim that he would be spared from the consequences of his conduct,” Hads concluded.
Hads’ decision came after several other judges at the Taurus circuit court and the Tarrant County circuit court have issued opinions that have echoed Johnson’s argument.
Hadiya Pardons her mother, who died after she was beaten, and her son, a victim of domestic violence, in 2016.
In a letter to her daughter, Elizabeth Haddadh, a former Tarrance County commissioner who was convicted of murdering her mother in 2015, Hadiyah Pendleton wrote that her daughter had a “devastating loss of life” and said she was grateful to be alive after she had been brutally beaten.
Haderad also criticized the prosecutor for not offering a defense that would have convinced jurors that Johnson would be a better person than the state.
In his opinion on June 9, Haderad said Johnson “may be a good man who was in jail before he was charged, but his actions are inconsistent with his beliefs and with the beliefs of his family.”
Hadiyah and Elizabeth Pendleton were charged with kidnapping and murder after the woman disappeared in 2016 from her Tarrances home.
She was found dead in a nearby creek on Aug. 14, 2017.