OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi judge is stepping away from a murder case after the victim’s mother said the judge was being disrespectful.
Judge Andrew Howorth presided Wednesday during the initial appearance of a former Oxford police officer, Mathew Kinne, who is charged in the shooting death of 32-year-old Dominique Clayton. Prosecutors mentioned the possibility having another hearing to consider bail for Kinne.
The victim’s mother, Bessie Clayton, later said Howorth had laughed during the hearing. She told reporters: “The judge has got to go.”
The Oxford Eagle reports Howorth issued an order Thursday recusing himself from the case. The order said it is unusual for a family to request a judge’s recusal but when someone is killed, relatives “should not necessarily be expected to behave rationally.”