Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Jr. tried to remove Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill from a case because Judge Weill allegedly filed a bar complaint against his father. Lumumba sued attorney Toney Baldwin in Hinds County Circuit Court for allegedly interfering with his representation of several clients in Stonewall (Clarke County). Judge Weill denied his motion.
Mr. Lumumba sued Mr. Baldwin on October 13, 2015 in Hinds County Circuit Court. The case was assigned to Judge Weill (The complaint is posted below.). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on November 30. Mr. Lumumba filed his motion to recuse on February 4, 2016. Mr. Baldwin argued that the plaintiff missed a deadline that occurred thirty days after he filed his complaint to file a motion to recuse.
Mr. Lumumba submitted his own affidavit in support of his motion. The plaintiff claimed:
Judge Weill filed a bar complaint against my father for alleged behavior occurring during the last and only trial he tried before Judge Weill.Mr. Baldwin responded that the plaintiff seemed to have no problem with Judge Weill until four months after the case was filed. He also pointed out that Chokwe Lumumba, Sr. died three years ago and that the plaintiff knew about the bar complaint when he filed the case. He argues the bar complaint has nothing to do with the plaintiff and points out that the plaintiff represents two attorneys who have filed bar complaints "against this court". Mr. Baldwin is represented by Jackson lawyer Robert Gibbs.
4. Among other things Judge Weill noted in his complaint that the defendant in that case was found not guilty. Judge Weill appears to reference this not guilty verdict as an undesired result that was either caused by or an unfortunate consequence of my father’s behavior in that case.
5. In the previous trial Judge Weill demonstrated bias against the defendant and my father.
6. Despite learning that there was no evidence that the defendant or my father had been notified of his trial date until shortly before the trial, Judge Weill refused to grant the defendant a continuance. Judge Weill's refusal to grant the continuance was lodged over my father’s representation that he was unprepared for trial. It should be noted that the defendant was charged with armed robbery, which carries a possible life sentence. Further, Judge Weill refused to grant the continuance after the District Attorney agreed to the same. Judge Weill also disallowed the defendant an opportunity to negotiate a plea agreement with the State. It should also be noted that Judge Weill refused to discuss the case with Defense Counsel without the presence of one or more of the Assistant District Attorneys who were white. He would not discuss the case with the Defense Attorney who was black and the District Attorney who was black, without the presence of the District Attorney's white assistants. The case involved a black criminal defendant. Judge Weill is white.
7. This prior case before Judge Weill is the only one that my father encountered in his 36 years of practice where the Judge required that the assistant prosecutor be present for discussion and argument on Motions when the District Attorney was available for argument on the motions.
8. Judge Weill's behavior in the previous trial indicated bias against my father and his client. His behavior in that trial suggested an exercise of racial preference with respect to pretrial motion consideration.
9. Judge Weill prosecuted a bar complaint against my father, which I believe disqualifies
him as an objective judge in the present case.
It is ironic that Judge Winston Kidd recused himself from Mr. Lumumba's wrongful death suit against St. Dominic Hospital on February 18. The case was assigned to Judge Weill.