A local lawyer's request to have a district judge removed from presiding over his cases was denied Wednesday. Travis Bryan III filed a motion to have Judge J.D. Langley recused from 11 of his cases at a hearing Wednesday morning.
Visiting Judge Olen Underwood of Conroe presided over the hearing. He basically told Travis Bryan that he'd heard enough even before Bryan was done presenting evidence and calling witnesses.
In opening statements, Bryan said he doesn't believe Judge Langley could be impartial for two reasons.
He feels Langley has animosity towards him because he was the campaign manager for David Barron who challenged Langley for the 85th district court seat this year.
Bryan also feels Langley would show favoritism to the district attorney's office because Bill Turner approved a prosecutors request to dismiss four felony credit card cases against Langley's son, Travis.
Turner was called to testify and he states the reason the dismissal was approved was because the credit card was reported stolen by Judge Langley's daughter who didn't want to press charges against her brother. Turner said when dealing with family matters, except domestic violence, his office considers the wishes of the family. As part of the dismissal deal, Travis Langley was ordered to pay the money back to the credit card companies and enroll in the military.
Bryan also says officials have emails that would "be embarrassing to Langley." He wanted to question County Judge Randy Sims about some alleged emails that would expose that Langley had an affair with Patricia Bonilla Harrison, who was selected as the new juvenile referee, but do not accept the job. Judge Underwood did not allow the line of questioning or that of any other officials concerning emails.
He made allegations that the DA's office has access to incrementing against Langley emails and could use them to blackmail Langley into ruling in its favor.
As part of Bryan's appearance, he wanted Underwood to allow him access to the emails. Underwood told Bryan a recusal proceeding was not the proper place to request and review those emails. He then ruled to dismiss all recusal requests.
" I'm disappointed mainly by the fact that we were not able to develop our case and put the evidence on that we had hoped we could present. The judge ruled that my motion was defective and basically threw the whole thing out," said Bryan III.
"It's pretty obvious the motion itself is insufficient as a matter of law. The judge read through and made that decision and it's the correct decision to make. It's the only decision to make," said District Attorney, Bill Turner.
Bryan can file an appeal after a ruling on any trial that Judge Langley presides over that is not in favor of his client.