Houston man accuses judge of abusing his power

A Houston man is accusing a district judge of abusing his power.

HOUSTON - Outside the criminal courthouse, Houston City Council member Michael Kubosh called out 209th Harris County District Court Judge Michael McSpadden.

"This is egregiously wrong," said Kubosh. "It's got to stop. It's mistreatment of people."

The man at the center of the controversy is Antwain Townes. He's charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Kubosh helped pay for for his $80,000 bond.

Judge McSpadden says since Townes managed to pay the bond, he can afford his own attorney. The judge ordered him to court for 10 straight days last month until he could hire someone to represent him.

"It's very depressing, sometimes I just want to give up," said Townes. Townes says there's no way he can afford hiring his own attorney right now.

"How can he go get a job if he's having to appear so much, day after day in court," said Kubosh.

Tonight Judge McSpadden is firing back against his critics.

"Anytime a white judge has a black defendant in the courtroom, you're going to see them cry racism every time," said McSpadden. "And I'm sick and tired of it."

He says the facts of the case guide all his decisions. Judge McSpadden says he gave Townes nearly four months to hire an attorney after Townes dismissed him in March. When he didn't comply with the judge's order, he resorted to resetting Towne's case daily.

"This is not about anyone being persecuted," said McSpadden. "This isn't about any racist moves. And if they think this is going to intervene in my administration of justice by getting a few people out in front of the courthouse, then they don't know me very well."

Townes is due back in court Friday morning. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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