A motion has been filed by Lawrenceburg attorney Doug Garner requesting Dearborn-Ohio Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey remove himself from the case of Marie and Adolfo Lopez.
The Lopezes are facing charges of corrupt business influence, forger and perjury following an investigation by Indiana State Excise Police. They and others allegedly did not pay enough sales tax to the State of Indiana.
According to the motion for removal filed by Garner Monday, Dec. 3, “Judge James D. Humphrey because he is biased in favor of the Dearborn County Prosecutor, Aaron Negangard,” noting “The issue is not whether the judge believes himself to be impartial, but whether a reasonable person aware of all the circumstances would question the judge’s impartiality. In re Wilkins, 780 N.E.2d 842 (Ind. 2003).”
There is a perception to “reasonable minds” that Humphrey’s ability to give the Lopezes due process is impaired because “(a) Aaron Negangard successfully prosecuted Daniel Brewington who was alleged to be a threat to Judge Humphrey and his family.
(b) Judge Humphrey acquiesced or participated in a procedure employed by Mr. Negangard to use bond as a tool of law enforcement to obtain statements from co-defendants Mr. Negangard would have been otherwise unable to obtain.
(c) Judge Humphrey ceded control of who is released on bond in the Acapulco Cases to Mr. Negangard.”
Garner also notes in the motion it “is belated because on November 28,2012 counsel reviewed the Chronological Case Summaries for the co-defendants and discovered the number of co-defendants who may have been forced to waive their 5th Amendment rights to secure their release from jail. Counsel could not have discovered this information with due diligence because the state has not produced copies of co-defendants statements.”