Federal judge pulled off criminal case after series of mistakes in procedures

Published: Dec. 2, 2016 at 9:10 PM CST
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Court documents show a federal judge in Louisiana was pulled off a criminal case following a series of mistakes in routine trial procedures. The documents also indicated she delegated some of her judicial duties to a prosecutor.

The documents, including a transcript that The Associated Press petitioned to have unsealed this week, detail U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi's unusual behavior in February as she presided over a trial for a man charged with fraud.

The newly unsealed transcript revealed attorneys asked for a mistrial because even basic requirements - like telling jurors that the burden of proof lies with prosecutors, not the defense - weren't followed.

Weeks later, Minaldi was removed from a string of unrelated cases against a south Louisiana sheriff and several subordinates without explanation.