• Judge, murder suspect face off in profanity-laced exchange

    By: Berndt Petersen


    FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. - A Floyd County judge is under fire for the language he used in the courtroom.

    Court transcripts obtained by Channel 2 Action News detail the confrontation between Superior Judge Bryant Durham and murder suspect Denver Allen.

    Judge Bryant Durham
    Judge Bryant Durham
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    Allen is accused of killing a fellow inmate in the Floyd County jail.

    Durham denied Allen’s request for a new public defender and that’s when the swearing between the two began.

    Allen threatened to kill the judge’s family. Both Allen and Durham made crude sexual references.

    [CLICK HERE to read the entire transcript. WARNING: Contains vulgar language]

    “What is really remarkable, and not in a good way, about this case it that the judge engaged in this really sort of down the gutter trash talking with this defendant,” defense attorney Tanya Miller said.

    The back-and-forth between the judge and murder suspect lasted for 11 minutes.

    Denver Allen
    Denver Allen
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    Miller said the judge had the opportunity to end the argument, but chose to engage in the exchange.

    “There were deputies in the courtroom when this happened. Those deputies would have removed this defendant in a matter of seconds,” she said. “This could have been over before it began.”

    Miller suggested that Georgia’s judicial qualifications commission look into the incident and possibly discipline Durham. 

    Residents that Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen talked to said that the voters put him there and they like him.

    Petersen contacted Durham and the public defender but did not hear back from either.

    A new judge has been appointed to preside over Allen’s trial.

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