Circuit Judge Terence Perkins will replace Dennis Craig, who’s headed back to Volusia, becoming the sixth judge in eight years to preside over Flagler County’s felony court.
Chief Judge Raul Zambrano’s order, delivered to DuPont by letter today, is as close to the firing of a judge short of a Supreme Court impeachment, and follows an investigation’s withering recommendation for removal.
Despite certifying Flagler for an additional county court judge in 2016 and recognizing a still-increasing workload last year the Supreme Court has ruled against certifying an additional judge this year.
Twice prosecutors and the defense agreed to a deal in the molestation case involving Maria Howell. Twice Judge Craig rejected the deal. The case is now headed for trial.
William Copeland is serving 40 years for shooting his daughter’s grandfather in Palm Coast in 2011. The court made a 10-year error in one of his sentences.
Judge Kim C. Hammond was appointed to the bench by Gov. Bob Graham in 1979 and spent his entire judicial in Flagler County, where the county courthouse now bears his name.
Circuit Court judges Dennis Craig and R. Lee Smith and County Court Melissa Moore-Stens spoke of personal and professional challenges and addressed the Flagler bench’s workload.
The proposal would revamp a decades-old system in which Supreme Court justices and appeals-court judges do not face term limits — though they are required to go before voters every six years for merit-retention.
Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman, in Flagler less than a year, is being reassigned to Volusia County, and will be replaced by Judge Dennis Craig, a Flagler resident who’d previously presided over civil and family court law.
Other black defendants whose cases were overseen by Hulsey “are living with the fear that the proceedings were infected by racial prejudice,” but questions about Hulsey’s impartiality also affect “the public at large and all residents of Florida,” lawyer Martin McClain wrote.