Oklahoma Judge Resigns After Exchanging 500 Texts During Murder Trial

A judge in Oklahoma who exchanged 500 text messages with her bailiff while presiding over the murder trial of a man accused of beating a toddler to death resigned on Friday.

Traci Soderstrom stepped down from her position as a district judge in Lincoln County ahead of a special court trial that was scheduled to begin on Monday, according to a resignation letter distributed to local news outlets.

Ms. Soderstrom faced removal from the bench for gross neglect of duty, gross partiality in office and other judicial conduct prohibited by the state’s Constitution.

“I texted during a trial,” she said after submitting her resignation, KOCO News reported. “It doesn’t matter whether it was a traffic case, or whether it was a divorce case, or whether it was a first-degree murder case. I texted during a trial and that was inappropriate.”

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