Apache County judge to remain on murder case - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Apache County judge to remain on murder case


ST. JOHNS, Ariz. (AP) - A judge who had dismissed murder and other charges against an eastern Arizona man will preside over his trial.

The prosecutor had asked that Apache County Judge Donna Grimsley recuse herself or be removed from the case largely because of statements she made regarding witnesses.

Judge Monica Stauffer denied the request Thursday, saying the state failed to prove prejudice or bias.

Authorities have accused Joseph Roberts of fatally shooting a man near St. Johns, and helping to mutilate and bury another man's body.

Grimsley dismissed the charges with prejudice after investigators with the Apache County Attorney's Office discussed a plea deal with Roberts without legal representation, calling their behavior outrageous and unethical.

The state appellate court reversed the ruling and remanded the case to Apache County for a trial.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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