Commonwealth responds to request to have judge removed from Brooks Houck case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Special prosecutors in Brooks Houck murder case of a Bardstown woman are fighting back against calls that the judge should be removed.
Brian Butler and Michael Denbow filed the request in October, claiming Nelson Circuit Court Judge Charles Simms III has demonstrated a bias toward Brooks Houck, who has been charged with the murder of his former girlfriend Crystal Rogers.
A new motion filed by prosecutors argued that the claim was unfounded.
The affidavit said the bias shown in court started years before Houck was criminally charged with the murder of Rogers, pointing to Simms’ commentary from a 2017 custody case, involving a different girlfriend of Houcks, Crystal Maupin.
“This court is simply astonished that Crystal would want a relationship with a man who is the prime suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of his previous girlfriend,” Simms said. Prosecutors argued the quote is a single line in a nine-page opinion and order and that attorneys failed to explain the context of and was not directed at Houck, but rather Crystal Maupin.
In addition to the commentary, attorneys said Houck’s $10 million bond demonstrated Simms “inability to be impartial and demonstrate his continuing bias against Mr. Houck.” A motion was filed to reduce Houck’s bond, which was ultimately denied.
Prosecutors have dismissed prior comments from the judge and argue the bond is fair due to Houck’s wealth. In the motion filed Tuesday, special prosecutor Young says “as the defendant has failed to meet his burden for disqualification of judge Simms, the Commonwealth requests this court deny the defendant’s motion.”
The Commonwealth said the court considered both parties’ evidence and arguments in reaching a decision that the bond was appropriate based on the nature of the offense, the substantial resources of the defendant, as well as the prior interaction with witnesses in determining the amount of bond.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Attorneys for Brooks Houck file motion to have judge removed from case
The Commonwealth argued Simms has not demonstrated the court has any bias toward Houck.
“The defendant has offered nothing but conclusory statements to support his motion to disqualify Judge Simms,” prosecutors said in their response. “Wherefore, as the defendant has failed to meet his burden for disqualification of Judge Simms, the Commonwealth requests this court deny the defendant’s motion.”
So far, no action has been taken on this motion yet.
Read the full court document below.
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