Note: This story was updated at 11:47 a.m. July 27.
CLINTON—First the judge recused himself and now the district attorney general’s office has been recused in a homicide case filed against an Oak Ridge man after a fatal crash in the crowded parking lot of Midtown Community Center after fireworks on July 4, 2015.
Both recusals were because of liens filed by the defendant, Lee Harold Cromwell, 66. The recusals mean another judge has already been appointed, and another DA will have to be appointed. A lien is a claim that one person owes something to another person.
Anderson County Criminal Court Judge Donald R. Elledge recused himself during a June 3 arraignment because of an $8 million lien filed against him by Cromwell.
“It was upsetting that he filed a frivolous lien against me,” Elledge said Monday. “I’m going to do everything I can legally, morally, and ethically to prosecute him criminally and civilly to the full extent of the law.”
Then, during a rescheduled arraignment on Monday, defense attorney James K. Scott asked for Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark and the DA’s office to also be recused. That was because of liens that Cromwell filed against the DA and another member of his office in “misplaced mindset” in a “misguided effort, out of desperation, to advocate for his innocence without the knowledge or advice of counsel,” Scott said in a motion to recuse. [Read more…]