New State Judge Accused Of Scrolling Social Media, Texting During Murder Trial

[Screenshot/YouTube/KOCO 5 News]

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A new Oklahoma judge is facing scrutiny after video allegedly caught her scrolling through social media, searching for GIFs and texting during a trial.

Lincoln County District Judge Traci Soderstrom, 50, was allegedly caught texting for minutes at a time during the trial of a man accused of contributing to the death of his girlfriend’s son, according to the Associated Press (AP). During the trial, the judge could also allegedly be seen checking her Facebook and scrolling through animated responses, the outlet stated.

District Attorney Adam Panter was alerted to the alleged phone use after receiving a tip from courtroom personnel. Upon reviewing security footage from cameras inside the courtroom, Panter was reportedly shocked and disturbed by the judge’s alleged behavior. (RELATED: Judge Removed After Allegedly Calling Colleague A ‘Fat B*tch,’ Making Employee Take Diet Pills, Using Fake Facebook Accounts To Threaten Litigants)

“It is both shocking and disappointing. Jurors are banned from using cellphones in the courtroom during trials because we expect them to give their full time and attention to the evidence being presented. I would expect and hope the court would hold itself to the same standard required of the jurors, regardless of the type of case,” Panter stated, according to the AP.

Sheriff Charlie Dougherty provided security footage from the trial to the Oklahoma Council on Judicial Complaints, a state agency which investigates accusations of misconduct by Oklahoma judges, the outlet stated. Since the council’s investigations are held in secrecy, the council’s director, Taylor Henderson, could not confirm whether the state is conducting an investigation into Soderstrom’s alleged conduct, the outlet stated.

Soderstrom was elected in November to a four-year term and sworn in on Jan. 9, 2023, according to the AP.