Judge’s ‘impartiality’ or ‘bias’ questioned because of email

Judge Allegra Walker
Judge Allegra Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Accusations that suggest “bias” and “prejudice” were leveled late Thursday against a Metro Nashville General Sessions judge by the Metro public defender’s office.

Judge Allegra Walker’s impartiality was called into question in a motion filed by the public defender’s office over an email. Click here to see both the motion and email.

The issue stems from Metro Nashville’s domestic violence cases.

Almost every day in Judge Walker’s courtroom, you can see police and prosecutors on one side. On the other side are public defenders or private attorneys representing those charged with some form of domestic abuse.

In the middle is the judge, but many members of Nashville’s criminal law community say Allegra Walker has overstepped her bounds with a recent email sent to members of the Davidson County District Attorney General’s Office.

In the email she told the District Attorney’s how she would handle cases, and the email was cited in a motion filed in court Thursday by public defender’s office.

The judge’s email attached to the motion said things like “NO [sic] agreed orders on domestics”
“NO [sic] multiple probation offers” and “NO [sic] reducing domestics down to simple assaults.”

The date effective was Monday, June 8.

The public defender’s motion said the email calls “into question Judge Walker’s impartiality” and reflects “her bias or prejudice concerning certain defendants.”

It went on to say the email amounts to “improper judicial interference” and because of it, Judge Walker was asked to recuse or disqualify herself from at least one particular case cited in court during a 4 p.m. hearing.

After a short hearing that was watched by fellow General Sessions Judge Gale Robinson, Judge Walker said she would take the motion to disqualify herself “under advisement.”

She did not comment any further in an email to News 2 about the case, although she freely allowed a camera to take pictures of her court during the day.

The public defender’s office also did not comment beyond the filing of the motion.

A spokesperson for the Davidson County District Attorney’s office indicated it had received the judge’s email.

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