Defense in Orange Co. shooting asks for new judge

Updated:

Loading
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

The man charged in a shooting that left a 15-year-old Orange County girl severely injured is fighting for a new judge to try his case.

Danielle Sampson still hasn't recovered from the massive brain injury she suffered when a stray bullet hit her in the head as she rode in her family's minivan through Pine Hills in July.

Tyrone Mosby is charged in the shooting that injured Danielle.

Now his defense attorney says the judge assigned to the case needs to go.

A motion filed in Orange County said Judge Janet Thorpe revealed she had discussed the case with her husband and, according to the motion, she said Danielle had once played basketball against at least one of her daughters.

"A reasonable person may assume that they can't get a fair trial with this judge," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

Sheaffer said in the best interest of the case, Judge Thorpe should recuse herself.

"The judge should step aside, because if she doesn't, it's going to give the defense a point on appeal should he be convicted," Sheaffer said.

Mosby's trial was already pushed back, after the state requested more time to prepare its case.

"We want the process to work. We don't want to rush the process," said Nouchelle Hastings, a family friend of Sampson.

Danielle's supporters said they were frustrated by the delays, but said what they want for Danielle is worth waiting for.

"Sometimes justice doesn't come in the time we want it, in the steps we want it, but ultimately no matter what side of the fence you're on, you want justice in the situation," said family friend Darrell Butler.

Judge Thorpe has 30 days to review the request and decide if she wants to recuse herself.

If she does not remove herself from the case, the defense could take its request to an appellate court.