Booker case won’t be heard by Monroe County judge

It will not be a Monroe County judge who tries the case of Vauhxx Booker, a former Bloomington resident who two and a half weeks ago was charged by special prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp with battery and criminal trespass.

Walking down the steps of the Charlotte Zietlow Justice Center after Tuesday’s hearing are Vauhxx Booker, right, and his attorney Katherine Liell, left.

On Tuesday afternoon at a scheduled hearing, Monroe County circuit court judge Valeri Haughton announced that she would be recusing herself from the case.

Leerkamp was appointed to handle the charges of Booker’s two alleged assailants, which include battery and criminal confinement. She charged Booker, after a restorative justice process did not come to a successful resolution.

One of Leerkamp’s court filings pegged the timeframe for the collapse of the restorative justice process as exactly a year after the incident: “on or about July 4, 2021.”

The charges against all three men arose in connection with an incident that took place a year ago on July 4, near Lake Monroe. Booker described it as an “attempted lynching.”

A back-and-forth between Haughton and Booker’s attorney, Katherine Liell, drew out the fact that all the other Monroe County judges had also recused themselves.

That means it will be the Indiana Supreme Court that decides which judge will hear Booker’s case. Tuesday’s hearing could have been the occasion of the initial hearing, when Booker would have offered a plea.

That will now wait until it is determined who the judge will be.

Continue reading “Booker case won’t be heard by Monroe County judge”

Bloomington annexation hearing updates: Possible postponement until 4 p.m. with no in-person access

The Bloomington city council announced in a news bulletin released a few minutes after 2 p.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 4) a possible change to its scheduled 3 p.m. public hearing at city hall on annexation.

The council could consider a motion to postpone the start of the meeting until 4 p.m.

If the motion were to pass, the news release seems to indicate the meeting would resume at 4 p.m. but would be accessible only through electronic participation.

The meeting had been advertised as one that would take place in hybrid fashion. That is, it would be accessible either in person or via the Zoom video conference platform.

Any updates known to The B Square will be added below. Continue reading “Bloomington annexation hearing updates: Possible postponement until 4 p.m. with no in-person access”