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An Oklahoma judge who sent more than 500 texts during a murder trial resigns

An Oklahoma judge agreed to step down Friday after she was caught sending hundreds of texts from the bench while overseeing a murder trial in the killing of a 2-year-old boy, including messages that mocked prosecutors and were sprinkled with emojis.

District Judge Traci Soderstrom also agreed to not seek judicial office again in Oklahoma under a proposed settlement agreement filed with the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary. She had faced removal from the bench over accusations that included gross neglect of duty, oppression in office, lack of proper temperament and failure to supervise her office.

Soderstrom had been scheduled to go on trial in a special court starting Monday.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Kane IV recommended Soderstrom be removed following an investigation that found she mocked prosecutors, laughed at the bailiff’s comment about a prosecutor’s genitals, praised the defense attorney and called the prosecutor’s key witness a liar during the murder trial of Khristian Tyler Martzall.

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