On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, NewsNation reported that municipal court judge Vincent Forbes was forced to resign after giving an interview about the murder case of missing Kansas mothers Veronica Butler and Jilian Kelley.

Forbes, who served as a judge in Hugoton, Kansas, said he was shocked by the arrests of his good friend Tad Cullum and three others in connection with the womens’ disappearance and murder. Cullum, his partner Tifany Adams, Cora Twombly, and her husband Cole Twombly are each charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder of Butler and Kelley, who vanished in March while traveling to pick up Butler’s children for a visit.

In his interview with NewsNation, Forbes revealed that he had been in regular contact with Cullum, one of the suspects, and was even present at Cullum’s residence when police raided the property. As both a friend and business partner of Cullum’s, Forbes said he never suspected anything was amiss and that Cullum seemed like “one of the nicest, funniest” people.

However, the judge acknowledged that Adams, Cullum’s partner and alleged accomplice, seemed “a little bit out of left field.” Forbes also spoke about rumors surrounding the religious group “God’s Misfits,” which the quartet of suspects allegedly belonged to.

Following the judge’s decision to publicly discuss the case and his relationship with suspect Cullum, Hugoton Mayor Julie Maska demanded Forbes’ resignation. Though he had been appointed to his role by Maska, speaking so openly about an ongoing criminal investigation seemed to anger local officials.

Forbes has since stepped down from his position as municipal court judge. The unusual move of a judge resigning after commenting on a case highlights the sensitivities around remaining impartial given his personal and professional ties to one of the accused.

As the investigation into the murders of Butler and Kelley continues, questions remain about whether any others may have been involved. A fifth suspect, Paul Grice, was allegedly part of a previous murder plot according to authorities but was not arrested along with Cullum, Adams, and the Twomblys. The Oklahoma Panhandle, where the suspects lived, and the bodies were found, has a history of lawlessness dating back to the 1800s.

 

 

Source: NewsNation