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|Drug dealer's testimony may result in probe of judge|
JAMES SKIPPER'S SENTENCE CUT IN HALF; JUDGE JOHNSON SAYS JUDGE BOOTHE'S RULING 'POLITICAL'
Judge Leo Boothe reduced the 25-year sentence of convicted drug dealer James Skipper to 12 years last week, stating that his decision was due to "startling information" and "saddening developments" that partly involved the other judge in the Seventh Judicial District -- Kathy Johnson.
Due to allegations made in those proceedings, the Louisiana Supreme Court has requested a tape of the hearing. Valerie S. Willard, Deputy Judicial Administrator for the Supreme Court, said Monday that as a matter of policy she could neither confirm nor deny whether an investigation has been launched.
Judge Johnson said Tuesday that "the timing of this event before an election is no coincidence and I do not understand how a sitting judge who has been named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit by Skipper, can hear a criminal case and release him based solely on Skipper's testimony."
See full story in today's issue of The Sentinel as well a statement from Judge Johnson and excerpts from Judge Boothe's ruling.
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