On Friday, December 15, 2023, The Commercial Appeal reported that Judge Jennifer Mitchell, who sits on the Division 10 bench neighboring Judge A. Melissa Boyd’s Division 9 courtroom, had recused herself from presiding over Boyd’s criminal case. Judge Boyd was indicted on Tuesday on charges of coercion of a witness and harassment.

Judge Mitchell quickly recused herself from the case, signing a recusal order just one day after the indictment was handed down. Chief Justice Holly Kirby of the Tennessee Supreme Court then appointed Judge Roy B. Morgan Jr. to hear the case in the interest of ensuring an efficient and orderly judicial process.

Judge Boyd was booked at the Shelby County Jail East facility, which houses female inmates, on Wednesday morning. The charges stem from allegations made by Boyd’s former campaign manager to the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct. Among the accusations were that Judge Boyd used marijuana and cocaine and would verbally harass the manager by telling her to “shut up” and not to “mess with her because she is a judge.”

Prior to the indictment, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy had also recused himself and his office from the case. He referred it to the state’s District Attorney’s conference, which then appointed Frederick Agee, DA for Crockett, Gibson, and Haywood counties, to serve as prosecutor in the case.

Judge Boyd has faced multiple accusations from the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct in recent months. In May, she received a public reprimand for soliciting donations on Facebook while wearing her judicial robe. In November, the board referred Boyd to the Tennessee General Assembly for “further action,” finding she had violated the terms of a suspension order in place since May 23. That suspension stemmed from previous allegations of threats, soliciting money through her judicial role, and substance abuse issues.


Source: The Commercial Appeal