An Oklahoma judge agreed to step down Friday after she was caught sending hundreds of texts from the bench while overseeing a murder trial in the killing of a 2-year-old boy.
According to KSNT, District Judge Traci Soderstrom won’t be seeking judicial office again in the state of Oklahoma while being accused of several things, including gross neglect of duty, oppression in office, lack of proper temperament, and failure to supervise her office.
“I promised to uphold the Constitution in a fair, even-handed and efficient manner,” Soderstrom said in a resignation letter. “I believe that I have done so. However, being human, I have also faltered.”
Soderstrom was investigated after Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Kane IV recommended an investigation be opened after she was found to have mocked prosecutors, praised the defense attorney, laughed at a comment made by the bailiff, and called the prosecutor’s key witness a liar during the trial.
The Oklahoman shared video footage that showed Soderstrom had been texting away during jury selection, opening statements, and testimony during the trial. Soderstrom is accused of sending more than 500 text messages to the bailiff.
In those texts, Soderstrom said things such as the prosecutor was “sweating through his coat,” described the defense attorney as “awesome,” and asked, “Can I clap for her?” during their opening statements. Soderstrom voluntarily suspended herself in October.