The odd case of Charles Dean Hood has been a subject of talk for a while. He was convicted of killing a Plano couple -- there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of doubt about it -- but he's got a unique appellate argument: The judge and his prosecutor had been lovers.
Back in our cub-reporting days, we knew both Judge Verla Sue Holland and prosecutor Tom O'Connell, both Collin County officials, and let us stipulate for the record that we could never, ever imagine them having sex with each other. But apparently they did.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Hood's plea last year; now he's asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule. And a bunch of court documents have been filed in that case. The New York Times takes a look at it today and goes completely straight-faced and understated with the quote of the day, if not the year.
It comes from Holland's deposition
In her deposition, Judge Holland said she had lately become angry with Mr. Hood's lawyers for "annihilating my reputation." She said she had asked the attorney general's office to represent her in Mr. Hood's challenge to her conduct because she thought she needed to fight back. She was "tired of laying over," she said, and "getting licked without any input."
Tired of "getting licked without any input"? Most dames complain about the opposite!! HEY-O!!!!!
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The Times seems to think the Supreme Court will take the case, having recently shown renewed interest in "the dignity of the judiciary."
And a panel of ethics experts has weighed in that Holland should have recused herself, even though the affair ended before Hood's trial.
"A judge who has engaged in an intimate, extramarital, sexual relationship with the prosecutor trying a capital murder case before her has a conflict of interest and must recuse herself," the brief from the ethics experts said. "Of all the courts to have considered the issue, only the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in this case failed to recognize this imperative."
Hey, we're just a bunch of hopeless romantics down here, licking away.