Judge Caught Scrolling Through Facebook and Looking At GIFs While Overseeing Her First Trial Involving A Man Accused Of Beating A 2-Year-Old To Death

Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Brett Jordan

An Oklahoma judge is under investigation after she was caught on surveillance footage scrolling through her phone throughout a seven-day murder trial, Insider reported. 

Judge Traci Soderstrom, who was recently elected as a new state judge in November, was reportedly overseeing the murder case that began last month. 32-year-old Khristian Tyler Martzall, was on trial for murder after he allegedly beat his then-girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, Braxton Danker, to death, The Oklahoman reported. 

Ironically, at the beginning of the trial, Soderstrom told jury members to turn off their

“electronic devices,”

so they could

“concentrate on the evidence without interruption,”

according to The Oklahoman.

A ceiling security camera above the judge’s bench caught Soderstrom looking through her device several times throughout the case. 

At a certain point, Soderstrom

“checked her cellphone during a tearful testimony from the victim’s mother, Judith Danker,”

according to the outlet. The footage also shows Soderstrom scrolling through Facebook and, once, searching and sending a GIF, The Oklahoman reported.

District Attorney Adam Panter, who examined the footage after getting a tip from a courthouse employee, told The Oklahoman that the judge

“spent hours of the trial on her cellphone both texting and scrolling through social media.”

“It is both shocking and disappointing,”

Panter told the newspaper.

“Jurors are banned from using cellphones in the courtroom during trials because we expect them to give their full time and attention to the evidence being presented. I would expect and hope the Court would hold itself to the same standard required of the jurors, regardless of the type of case.”

Martzall was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter at the end of the trial. Prosecutors were pursuing first-degree murder charges, reports note. 

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