Conroe – Though she's not admitting she did anything wrong, 258th District Judge Elizabeth E. Coker walked away from her bench of 14 years after an investigation made it clear she had been influencing juries and prosecutors during trials.
According to knowledgeable observers, Judge Coker had been texting to jurors and members of the District Attorney's staff, sharing tidbits about procedure, case law, and suggested questions to ask during criminal trials. Communications of that type between judges and juries, prosecutors and defense counsel are ethically improper.
The judge explained that she walked away to avoid the expense and botheration of a lengthy disciplinary proceeding against her.
"The Judicial Commission made no finding or determinations of fact in my voluntary resignation, and I have not admitted guilt, fault or liability in my voluntary resignation. While I could have fought these allegations, it would have involved significant time, significant expense, and disruption to everyone involved. I did not feel that was in the best interests of the taxpayers, our court system, my family or myself," Coker stated. "I love this judicial district. The people deserve a judge that is fully focused on carrying out their duties, which would have been impossible for me to do in this situation."
In a recent issue of “Line Notes,” a publication of the Baylor Alumni Association, Judge Coker acknowledged that it is her life long dream to be a jurist.
She gushed in an article by Daniel Houston, “After Sunday dinner after church, instead of conversing with the women, I would go into the living room and talk with my dad and uncle who were both Baylor grads – and my grandfather about their cases and the law. I cannot think of a time in my life that I did not want to be a lawyer...”
The 258th Judicial District comprises Polk, Montgomery, and San Jacinto Counties.
She is the past president of the Alumni Association for 2012-13, a Baylor Law grad, and a third generation Texas jurist.