New judge to decide Dallas DA's contempt citation

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Associated Press

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 9 at 12:35 AM

DALLAS (AP) — Another judge will decide how to handle a contempt of court violation against the Dallas County district attorney after he refused to testify at a hearing.

District Attorney Craig Watkins would not answer questions in court Thursday about his office's prosecution of an oil fortune heir for mortgage fraud. Judge Lena Levario held him in contempt, but did not announce immediate sanctions. She later dismissed the case against the heir, Al Hill III.

Levario granted Watkins' request on Friday to have the case reassigned. Judge John Ovard, the presiding judge of the administrative region that includes Dallas, said he will likely choose a new district judge early next week.

Watkins' spokeswoman, Debbie Denmon, said prosecutors were still deciding whether to appeal Levario's dismissal of the case against Hill.

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