According to a Houston-based attorney, Second Judicial Circuit Judge David W. Hummel Jr. pulled out a gun to make a point about personal protection in the middle of a trial, WTRF reports.
Attorney Lauren Varnado said the incident was an example of non-stop abuse during the trial. Varnado was representing natural gas producer EQT, and said her team moved to disqualify Judge Hummel from the case "after learning he and his family also own minerals, meaning they’re also parties to leases. So similarly aligned with the plaintiffs in our case," but it was unsuccessful.
Speaking to WTRF, Varnado said that Judge Hummel screamed at her in front of the entire courtroom multiple times throughout the trial. She also claimed that Judge Hummel also screamed at her even with the jury still present after cross-examining a witness.
Varnado says she hired security because she was worried about threats she'd received from outside the courtroom, which was followed by judge calling a special hearing where another confrontation took place.
"He claimed that he didn’t know that they were security until I guess the day before and was basically like ‘how am I just now finding this out?" Varnado said. "Why would you have security?’ That’s when ‘aren’t my guns and security enough?’ I mean, he walked around all the time with his robe open. I saw his gun."
She then said Judge Hummel pulled out a gun and deliberately made sure it was pointing at her when he placed it in front of him. When she reported the incident to the FBI, she was told it was safe to go back to court.
The case was later dismissed after the parties agreed to settle the matter out of court.
Varnado told WTRF that she hopes Judge Hummel is removed from the bench.
"He treats counsel who appears before him with contempt, disdain and disrespect. Period," she said.
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