La. Supreme Court upholds judge’s recusal in murder case

La. Supreme Court upholds judge’s recusal in murder case
District Court Judge Mike Canaday has been recused from a 1998 homicide case. Dennis Jerome Bartie is accused of killing Rose Born. (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Louisiana Supreme Court has upheld the recusal of a judge in a Calcasieu homicide case.

District court Judge Michael Canaday was recused from Jerome Bartie’s homicide case in February by fellow district court Judge Clayton Davis.

Bartie is charged with second-degree murder in the 1998 death of Rose Born, found stabbed to death in her doughnut shop. Her death was considered a cold case until Bartie was arrested in 2016.

Bartie’s defense argued that Canaday abused his discretion, listing off several rulings for the prosecution made in the case.

The recusal was first upheld by the Third Circuit Court of Appeal.

“This court finds that a comparison of the facts of this case to the actions expected of a reasonable, average judge reveals an appearance of bias or prejudice against Defendant or in favor of the prosecution that gives rise to a probability of, risk of, or potential for bias too high to be constitutionally tolerable," the Third Circuit said in its ruling. "Therefore, the trial court’s February 18, 2020, ruling recusing Judge Canaday from the instant case does not constitute an abuse of discretion.”

Prosecutors took a writ to the state Supreme Court, which denied the application. As is customary, there was no written explanation by the Supreme Court for the denial. However, Justice Scott J. Crichton issued a two-page written reason for his dissent, which can be read HERE.

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