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Chief judge takes Adrian off bench for criminal matters

Judge Robert Adrian heads a recent case.
Judge Robert Adrian heads a recent case.(WGEM)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Chief Judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit Frank McCartney filed an administrative order with the Adams County Circuit removing embattled Judge Robert Adrian from handling criminal cases.

The order reassigns Adrian to hear small claims, probate, civil cases and other legal matters.

This comes after several days of controversy following Adrian’s reversal of his own conviction of an 18-year-old man who had been charged with criminal sexual assault. Drew S. Clinton had faced charges for allegedly assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

During a bench trial in October, Adrian convicted Clinton of one count of the three counts he had faced.

At a sentencing last week, however, Adrian reversed himself following a pair of motions by Clinton’s attorney, saying that a mandatory minimum sentence imposed by state statute would be inappropriate.

According to transcripts from the hearing, Adrian said that the time Clinton had served in the Adams County Jail was enough.

“For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment,” Adrian said.

During the hearing, Adrian also had harsh criticism for parents at the party where the alleged assault happened, lambasting them for letting minors drink and swim in the pool in only their underwear.

McCartney’s order assigned Judge Scott Larson to handle criminal felony cases and emergency protection orders, and assigned Judge Tad Brenner to cover Judge Holly Henze’s conflict family docket until further order.

McCartney also ordered new judges for a handful of specific cases that Adrian had been handling.

Judge Roger Thomson was ordered to preside over the murder case against Carlos Williams. Judge Amy Lannerd was ordered to preside over the murder case against Natasha McBride, as well as the carjacking, home invasion and sexual assault case against Karen Blackledge.

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