The Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed four new disqualification motions this week against 5th District Court Judge Robert J. Elgee.
Once again, Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas declined to respond to a request from the Idaho Mountain Express regarding his reasons why.
The four new cases were still listed on Elgee's case docket on Thursday, as the judge hadn't yet issued orders to disqualify himself. However, Elgee has little choice in the matter and his cases historically have gone to Judge Barry Wood, who normally presides in Gooding County but is Blaine County's district court backup judge.
Once the cases officially reach Wood's docket, the tally of Blaine County felony cases will be Wood 18, Elgee 10.
Thomas' office has filed 15 disqualification motions against Elgee since last October.
Thomas, or any prosecuting or defense attorney in Idaho, has the right under state judiciary rules, as laid down by the Idaho Supreme Court, to disqualify one district court judge without stating a reason.
According to court records, the four new disqualification motions were filed Monday. The cases include:
· A felony "battery on a police officer" charge against Evan Glen Bear, a 47-year-old Blaine County man.
· A felony DUI charge against Jonah J. Torseth, a 33-year-old Hailey resident who teaches at Wood River Middle School.
· A felony DUI charge against Terry L. Coe, a 38-year-old Ketchum man.
· A felony DUI charge against Timothy L. Hess, 49-year-old Hailey man.
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