Defendant's push for Skeen recusal quashed

Published on Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:46 - Written by KENNETH DEAN kdean@tylerpaper.com

Capital murder defendant James Calvert could not have known his filing for an order to recuse 241st District Judge Jack Skeen Jr. Friday morning would be heard just hours later, because the Dallas judge, who would hear the case, happened to be in Tyler. 

Presiding Judge of the First Administrative Judicial Region Judge Mary Murphy took up the motion in Skeen’s court Friday afternoon and denied the motion. 

The twist of events Friday was the latest in the case that has seen Calvert being wheeled into the courtroom because he refused to walk, a witness fainting during a hearing, and Calvert refusing to stand when addressing the court.

Calvert is accused in the October 2012 murder of his ex wife 30-year-old Jelena Radobanovic Sriraman and kidnapping the couple’s 4-year-old son before being apprehended hours later in Monroe, Louisiana, during a routine traffic stop.

Calvert, who is representing himself, stated in his motion that Skeen must recuse himself because he had served as the Smith County District Attorney, has denied multiple motions filed by Calvert, and had a “blatant dislike” for Calvert. 

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Murphy denied the motion thus leaving Skeen to preside over the case.