Tracie Hunter trial: Hunter asks judge to recuse himself - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tracie Hunter asks judge to recuse himself

Hunter asks Judge Norbert Nadel to recuse himself before opening statements began. (FOX19) Hunter asks Judge Norbert Nadel to recuse himself before opening statements began. (FOX19)

Opening statements were made Wednesday in the trial of suspended juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter, and drama started in the courtroom before the jury even arrived.

Hunter, who is facing nine felony charges, began the third day of the trial by stating she did not trust Judge Norbert Nadel presiding over the case and asked the judge to recuse himself.

"I just want to put on the record that I would like to make an oral motion for you to recuse yourself as judge of this case because I do not believe that you can rule impartially and fairly and I just want to make the record," Hunter stated. The judge denied the motion.

Judge Nadel also denied a request to remove an Enquirer reporter from the courtroom. Clyde Bennett, Hunter's attorney, claimed the reporter was intrusive to the case.

The prosecution's opening statements described Hunter as a difficult person whose offenses include changing dates on court records and using county credit cards to pay personal legal fees during her 16 months as Hamilton County's Juvenile Court Judge.

Bennett claimed before the jury that Hunter tried to report the wrongdoings inside the Hamilton County Juvenile Court, but ended up being a victim of dirty politics

"The indictment is the end product of Hamilton County political warfare," said Bennett.

The opening statements lasted about four hours and the trial could go on for six weeks.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty to the nine felony charges, including tampering with evidence, theft and forgery. The charges carry up to 13 years in prison if convicted.

FOX19 NOW's Jody Barr contributed to this story and will be in the courtroom for the trial. Follow him on twitter for live updates.

[Related: Prosecutor blames judge for juvenile's death, mother blames prosecution]

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