Former Georgia Judge Sued By Woman Who Says Drugs Were Planted On Her After Accusing The Judge Of Sexual Wrongdoing

imagesThere is an extraordinary story coming out of Georgia this week where two Murray County sheriff’s deputies pleaded guilty in federal court for their part in a scheme to frame a woman, Angela Garmley (left), after she accused Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran of soliciting sex from her in return to favorable treatment in her pending divorce case. Three other women have accused Cochran of such abuse.

Garmley says that on April 9, 2012, she went to the court in relation to an assault on her on the previous day. She says that Cochran asked to meet with her alone in his office and starting questioning her about the state of her marriage. She quotes him as saying “My wife doesn’t take care of my sexual needs and I need a mistress to have sex with I can trust.” She says that the judge said that he had “a real boner” for her and allegedly told her to “Come back on Wednesday with a dress and no panties so we can have sex.”

After she made the charge against Cochran, she was arrested for possession of methamphetamines. She insisted the drugs were planted in retaliation for the charge against Cochran. She was stopped by Deputy Josh Greeson as a passenger in a car because the driver failed to dim his headlights. Greeson used a drug dog to search the car after noticing Garmley stumble slightly and that she had “slurred speech.” Greeson said that the dog located a small metal can stuck under the driver’s door containing meth.

Garmley could have faced decades in jail and has now accused Cochran, two deputies, and a handyman named C.J. with the conspiracy.

Notably, the drug charge was dropped, but it takes one year for the charge to be removed from Garmley’s record.

The deputies are awaiting sentencing on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.

Cochran has resigned. However, this came after an investigation into other violations of whether Cochran “allowed the prestige of his office to advance his private interests” and he “pre-signed blank arrest warrants for completion by law enforcement officers while he was absent from the office.” Before his resignation, Cochran dismissed the allegations by Garmley: “This is a politically timed, politically motivated personal attack on my family and I.”

The missing link here is the role of the former judge. If he was involved in the conspiracy, it is not clear why he has not been criminally charged. If he was not involved, what was the motivation for the conspiracy. Of course, even if that allegation is unproven or unsubstantiated, there appears more than enough basis for his removal if he had not resigned.

66 thoughts on “Former Georgia Judge Sued By Woman Who Says Drugs Were Planted On Her After Accusing The Judge Of Sexual Wrongdoing”

  1. Blouise and Anon Yours;

    Clarence Thomas is everything Ms Anita Hill said and then some.

    His lying to get the job should land him in prison – the Pervert!

  2. On a much more positive note – the True (unsung) hero of this case is the lady’s attorney (McCracken Poston). According to a story link provided by a fellow Democratic Underground poster, Mr. Poston was a former Georgia State Representative who led the charge in this case.

    And told the judge – point blank in his own courtroom – he would investigate the B.S. charge against Garmley.

  3. Mike& Nick;

    It is my heart felt belief that the rank & file, for the most part – are decent, law abiding citizens. They seek to do their job each day with sincerity.

    That being said, we have become WAY too accustomed in this country, in turning a deaf ear and/or becoming willfully blind to tyranny, cronyism & corruption.

    No one cares, for the most part, about the harm to our fellow man;
    whence it is not directly related to U.S.

    That is a terrible state of affairs.

  4. MikeS, I found working as a public employee in the criminal justice system quite frustrating. There were many hard working dedicated people. But, there were too many people who weren’t evil like that courtroom Marshall, but just too lazy and casual about such an important trust. How my wife was able to continue, and how a good employee like you[I believe that] was, is remarkable to me. I don’t suffer fools or foolishness well and if you work in the public sector you must have that ability. Or, be a fool or foolish and not require that ability.

    As I’ve said, I’m tough on attorneys because many deserve it. But, in no way do I paint them w/ a wide brush. There are great attorneys, only very few Atticus Finch’s. The private sector work was much more rewarding. It attracts more talented people and you’re paid based on your performance. If I didn’t produce, I would have been out of business in a couple years. No paid holidays. No sick days. No paid vacations. No health benefits. I did set up a SEP for myself and my employees and that’s a fairly good govt program. You can not produce in the public sector and do just fine and of course get Cadillac health benefits. I lived off my wife’s.

    People who haven’t worked in litigation have some serious misconceptions. A couple have hopefully been dispelled here. Firstly, judges treat juries VERY well and most seem to genuinely appreciate these people taking times[sometimes a long time if it’s a complicated trial] out of their busy lives to do their civic duty. Secondly, witnesses are also treated well by judges. They often protect them from a$$hole attorneys. I have testified hundreds of times and I have always been treated w/ respect. As judges got to know me even a little more respect. It is a flawed system that could use some changes. But, I think it’s the best, although the UK might give the US a run for its money.

  5. “What is WRONG with posting the picture of the already humiliated woman on this post???????????????”

    Well maybe it is wrong to publish her picture but then again maybe it is important to give a human face to those victimized by power, or maybe it is worth it to show that even the most vulnerable can stand and triumph over evil.

    I don’t think there are clear answers in this kind of situation.

    The point is they pushed her to the point she could not run and against all the odds she won and in the process performed a great service for all of us.

    Thanks to her and to all the upright LE who aided her case.

  6. CORRUPTION AND COVER UP IS ALIVE AND KICKING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY…… Check out the link….the man being arrested in NC was in a 3rd party residence…..the law officers pushed their way into the residence without the homeowners permission….the lady of the house told the officers that they needed a *search warrant to proceed*….the officer told her to *sit down and shut up or you will be arrested too*….and proceeded…

  7. Do felonious judges have the option of resignation instead of jail?
    Lesson: education & success allows rampant law-breaking with negligible consequence.
    I guess I should be more jaded.
    What does the victim get from this.
    Is there real recourse for the victim who was terribly abused?
    All probably just the tip of the iceberg, too.

  8. Back when I was a lawyer in a previous life we had a judge who would not do anything with lawyers or anyone in chambers. If you came to his court and wanted some ex parte order signed he would meet you out in the courtroom and he would go up on the bench and the discussion would be had there with a clerk present. Smart protocol.

  9. I’ve been in practice for 40 years and can attest to the fact that even lawyers don’t get access to judges’ chambers anymore. And with many states moving toward the federal model in which written filings are used in lieu of oral argument, even seeing a judge in a hearing room is becoming a less frequent occurrence.

  10. I don’t understand the stories involving judges having private meetings with litigants. It would be the talk of our courthouse, local attorneys and eventually the local newspaper if a judge invited a litigant (represented or unrepresented) back to his chambers.

  11. Maybe in time one of the two deputies where were convicted will like to come forward and make a statement against the judge. When that happens and if the judge is actually involved in the conspiracy to frame this woman it would be satisfying criminal case to work.

    I cannot imagine a federal judge going lightly on a convicted judge who did what this judge might be alleged to have done.

  12. I’ve served on three juries … three different judges and they were all great.

    One of my granddaughters had to appear for a traffic violation a couple months ago and the judge spent time talking to her getting the facts, lecturing her a little and then fining her a mere $25 because she’d given him”all the right answers”. We really liked him!

  13. And AY, we almost simultaneously made the same point about judges off the record. Are you a barrister?

  14. AY, Point taken and accepted. But curmudgeonly people bother me. I hated Andy Rooney.

  15. Gene,

    Please email as to the date you go … I have forgotten. (No crotch jokes!)

  16. SWM, Almost w/o exception, judges are good to jurors. In all the trials I worked, some w/ some real pompous, a$$hole judges, they always were good to the jurors. And, to a slightly lesser degree, also to the witnesses unless there is good cause. They’re nastiness is often off the record when the jury isn’t in the courtroom. I’m sure the attorneys here could give some great sidebar horseshit they’ve dealt w/ over the years. And the judge’s chambers..Fuggetaboutit.

  17. Gene,

    True but in some cases the brain in their crotch is the only brain they have … male or female

  18. Nick,

    No one Said you were wrong in your belief…. Look at it this way… A judge as well as attorneys have a duty to rat out wrong doing attorney and judges…. Do they…. Very rarely, the price is steep when you do…. So looking the other way is equally as reprehensible …..

    Now, as you nice judges…. Some are…. But I know some that kiss ass in the jury’s presence….. And are MFs to be around and they yell at their staff and attorneys….

    That’s one of the things I dislike about hypocrites….. And there are many different breeds of them…..

    You were picking a fight with Mike S and that’s BS….. You were trying to be passive aggressive in doing so…. I was calling you out nicely…. So, please play nice…..

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