KIRAN: Judge White makes request to move from criminal bench to civil

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A formal request has been made by Judge Trudy White to move from the criminal bench to the civil bench, according to Chief Civil Judge William Morvant.

Judge Morvant said there's also a request by Judge Donald Johnson to move from the civil bench to the criminal bench, meaning Judges White and Johnson would be swapping positions.

This comes after a series of 9News Investigations into Judge White spanning three months after she reduced the bond for Albert Franklin by $79,000 in Nov. 2017. Franklin was arrested Nov. 14 on drug, gun and resisting an officer charges. His bond was set at $88,000, but Judge White went in the next day and reduced that bond to only $9,000. The 9News Investigators learned that reduction was done without a bond reduction hearing and without the district attorney's knowledge. Franklin was able to quickly make bond after it was reduced to $9,000. Early last week, Franklin was arrested for first-degree murder of Zachary Police Officer and Zachary Fire Dept's Deputy Chief Chris Lawton.


After his latest arrest, Judge Beau Higginbothom denied Franklin any bond.

Judge Morvant added another judge objected to Judge White moving to the civil bench. The 9News Investigators have learned Judge Richard "Chip" Moore is the judge who objected based on his seniority. Moving from the criminal bench to the civil bench is based on seniority and currently, Judge Moore has seniority over Judge White.

It's why a hearing has been set for next week at which time all judges will listen and discuss what decision to make.

No word on why Judge White requested to be moved to the civil bench.

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