A state legislator has called for an investigation of a central Missouri judge who ordered the dismissal of charges against a man who once admitted to sodomizing his then 5-month-old daughter.
Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce approved a motion to dismiss the case against Aaron Michael Fisher, saying he was denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial. The incident happened in 2009, and Miller County Prosecutor Ben Winfrey says the case dragged on due to motions by Fisher’s attorneys.
Fisher pleaded guilty in July 2014 to two charges of forcible sodomy of a child, but changed that plea four months later.
Lake Ozark representative Rocky Miller wants to investigate whether Judge Joyce acted incompetently.
“I’m just in the beginning phases of what I think should be due process of an investigation by the House,” Miller told Missourinet. “The House of Representatives, they are the body that impeaches elected officials such as circuit judges.”
Miller isn’t saying he thinks Fisher is guilty.
“I just think that he should have gone to trial,” said Miller. “I believe in the justice system and I’m not certain, at this point, if justice was served.”
Miller said Joyce declined to talk to him about the ruling.
The county prosecutor told Missourinet he is working on an appeal of the ruling, and working with the family of the child to make sure they are safe.
If an impeachment of Joyce would develop and be successful, it could be seen as a political victory for Republicans as well.
Joyce won reelection last year despite big spending by conservative groups from in- and outside Missouri hoping to unseat the only Democratic circuit judge in the county where most of Missouri government is housed, and therefore where cases with state government implications are filed.