D.A. says judge was ‘enamored’ with Peterson

The district attorney in Adrian Peterson’s case says the judge was ‘enamored with an elite athlete’ in Peterson’s case after the judge terminated Peterson’s probation.

Montgomery County (Texas) district attorney Brett Ligon fired back at Judge Kelly Case after Case waived the public service conditions of Adrian Peterson’s probation.

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, filed a motion to terminate the probation on July 28. Peterson was initially charged with child abuse in Montgomery County in September 2014 for disciplining his son with a wooden switch in May 2014, but he pleaded no contest to reckless assault.

The State of Texas moved to recuse judge Kelly Case from the Peterson case, citing a “long history of hostility between Case and the District Attorney’s office.” That motion was overruled by a visiting judge from Fort Worth.

“Judge Case has continued to make decisions that the State contends demonstrate a clear bias against District Attorney Brett Ligon and county wide efforts to proactively combat child abuse,” the district attorney’s office wrote in a release in reaction to the decision to waive Peterson’s remaining probation.

The probation was terminated approximately 14 months earlier than the plea agreement called for. Peterson had yet to complete Public Service Announcements about domestic violence and child abuse as was initially required as part of the plea agreement.

“The Court’s decision to early terminate Mr. Peterson’s probation without requiring he strictly comply with the agreed upon terms gives the appearance that a star struck judge waived some of the probation requirements because he was enamored with an elite athlete,” Ligon said. “We were not notified that the Public Service Announcement requirement had been waived nor were we given any time to respond to the motion for early termination. This is unfortunate because we had an opportunity to move the dialogue on child abuse in a positive direction and now we are left with the feeling that this case and those conversations are disappointingly cut short.”

After missing the final 15 games of the 2014 season while dealing with his legal issues, Peterson returned to the Vikings in May and has attended every practice since.

“My main thing was making sure my obligations got completed and that’s what I did,” said Peterson, who said he didn’t want to a Public Service Announcement. “Early termination is what I was aiming for and it worked out.”

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