Judge Resigns After Being Caught Texting From Bench During Murder Trial of Toddler

The woman suspended herself in October before fully stepping down.

(Photo by MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

A judge in Oklahoma has stepped down after she was caught texting and mocking prosecutors during the trial of a two-year-old boy who was murdered.

According to KSNT, District Judge Traci Soderstrom won't be seeking judicial office again in the state of Oklahoma while being accused of several things, including gross neglect of duty, oppression in office, lack of proper temperament, and failure to supervise her office.

"I promised to uphold the Constitution in a fair, even-handed and efficient manner," Soderstrom said in a resignation letter. "I believe that I have done so. However, being human, I have also faltered."

Soderstrom was investigated after Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Kane IV recommended an investigation be opened after she was found to have mocked prosecutors, praised the defense attorney, laughed at a comment made by the bailiff, and called the prosecutor's key witness a liar during the trial. 

The Oklahoman shared video footage that showed Soderstrom had been texting away during jury selection, opening statements, and testimony during the trial. Soderstrom is accused of sending more than 500 text messages to the bailiff.

In those texts, Soderstrom said things such as the prosecutor was "sweating through his coat," described the defense attorney as "awesome," and asked, "Can I clap for her?" during their opening statements. Soderstrom voluntarily suspended herself in October. 

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