In a letter to the Texas State Bar, ex-Assistant District Attorney Kaycee Jones confessed that she received text messages from Judge Elizabeth Coker during a criminal trial in 2012. The texts from Coker, who was on the bench for the trial, were intended to help the prosecution’s case.
"I deeply regret that I acted in this manner,” Jones said, who is now a District Court Judge in Polk County, Texas. “It was wrong and I knew better."
Jones’ confession and a photo copy of Coker's text message, which details a line of witness questioning that would aid prosecutors, were outlined in a letter Jones sent to the Texas Bar Association's disciplinary counsel, which is investigating the incident.
Part of the letter signed by Jones includes the following: "On August 8, 2012, I did receive a text message from Judge Coker that suggested a line of questioning in an Injury to a Child trial over which she was presiding and telling me to tell the trial prosecutor. I was not the trial prosecutor and had nothing to do with the investigation or prosecution of the case, but I was present in the courtroom for portions of the trial as an observer. When I received the text, I hand wrote the text verbatim and asked our investigator to deliver it to the prosecutor who was trying the case.”
The defendant was found not guilty, but citizens, professors and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association have raised questions about the issue and whether it has occurred before or since the 2012 incident.
In addition to the complaint against Jones filed with the State Bar Association by a local attorney, Polk County District Court Judge Elizabeth Coker's actions are being reviewed by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.