Local attorney claims judge influenced D.A. to drop son's charges - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/16/09

Local attorney claims judge influenced D.A. to drop son's charges

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Did a local judge use his influence to get his son out of trouble for drunken driving - possibly in violation of Texas penal code? That's exactly what local defense attorney Rod Hobson accuses district judge Jim Bob Darnell of doing.

In a motion filed Friday, Hobson says an arrest warrant had been issued for the judge's son Jared Darnell. The arrest warrant was for DWI after a July 13th 2008 crash along West Loop 289. A police report indicates the crash was bad enough that the judge's son had to go to the hospital by ambulance.

Shortly after the arrest warrant was issued, court records indicate Judge Darnell wrote an email to the sheriff's deputies who would serve that warrant. The email does not ask the deputies to do or not do anything, but it does clearly identify Jared Darnell as the judge's son.

The warrant was never served and the younger Darnell was given a form of probation called pre-trial diversion. If the diversion is completed successfully no charges are ever filed.

Hobson references a second email that seems to indicate that District Attorney Matt Powell might have become involved in the case. Hobson seeks to have Darnell removed from any and all cases -- claiming that Darnell owes prosecutors a favor, but the district attorney disagrees.

Powell told NewsChannel 11 by phone Monday evening that pre-trial diversions are not uncommon and offered to all walks of life. He says no preferential treatment was given to Jared Darnell and says the sheer fact that he is the judge's son was irrelevant.

NewsChannel 11 also left a message for the judge but he has yet to return our call.

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Hobson's motion against Judge Darnell
Read the motion filed by Lubbock Attorney Rod Hobson challenging the credibility of Judge Jim Bob Darnell and accusing him of possible Texas Penal Code violations.
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