Posted: Aug 9, 2012 4:38 PM by Mike Manzoni -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Aug 10, 2012 4:22 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- State District Judge Angelica E. Hernandez ordered two attorneys to attend ethics classes and recused herself from a capital murder case at a hearing Thursday afternoon after she said the attorneys were caught looking through her cell phone.
Hernandez said Assistant District Attorney Doug Mann and Defense Attorney Eric Perkins were caught going through her personal cell phone Tuesday, something she said was not an accident.
Mann and Perkins are lawyers in the capital murder case against Carlos Gonzales who is accused of robbing and murdering a man in 2007.
Hernandez said she does not accept the explanations from either attorney regarding what happened and ordered Perkins and Mann complete five and ten hours of ethics training courses, respectively. Until then, she said, neither are allowed to practice in the 105th District Court.
A source who works in the courthouse said the incident happened in the court coordinator's office when Mann and Perkins were waiting for Hernandez. The source said the court's coordinator, Lori Munoz, walked into her office and found Mann and Perkins going through Hernandez's cell phone.
In a phone interview Wednesday, Perkins called the allegations "rumors," and said neither he nor Mann were going through Hernandez's cell phone. "I guess now it's grown to the point where now it sounds very salacious and everything, but it's just not true.
Mann would not comment on the allegations.
Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka said "We respectfully disagree with the court's finding and feel that there was no intentional wrongdoing by the attorneys." Skurka said his office plans to file a legal response to the court's decision.
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