Judge Denise Collins, who was presiding in the case against suspect Shannon Miles, has recused herself. Miles is accused of fatally shooting Deputy Darren Goforth on August 28.
This is a voluntary recusal filed by Collins. Our legal experts say as such she does not, under the law, have to explain why she has done so. In the recusal, Collins says she does so to "...preserve the interests of justice" and to "...avoid any possible conceivable question of propriety." She does not go into specifics. When asked Monday afternoon, Collins told us, "I wish I were able to discuss the matter but unfortunately I am unable to, as i am not allowed to talk about any pending criminal case no matter where it is assigned."
Shannon Miles is charged with capital murder.
Court documents indicate investigators later discovered one of the eyewitnesses to the murder was a woman who said she had an ongoing romantic relationship with the married deputy. She's considered a key witness in this case. Then Eyewitness News broke the story about one of the detectives working this case being relieved of duty after admitting to sexual contact with that same woman. Investigator Craig Clopton said in court records that his sexual contact with the woman took place during the ongoing criminal investigation.
Neither the Harris County DA's office nor Shannon Miles' attorney were willing to comment on Monday's developments.
The case is now assigned to the 185th district court and Chief Administrative Judge Susan Brown.
PHOTOS: Deputy Darren Goforth remembered
PHOTOS: Deputy Darren Goforth murder investigation