Andi Davis of Hot Springs, "the lawyer in the paper mask," continues to seek the fair treatment for herself and her clients that she says is being denied in the court of Garland Circuit Judge Marcia Hearnsberger. The judge continues to deny Davis's allegations and dismiss her motions.
Davis claims that Hearnsberger is biased against her, for reasons unknown to Davis, and she wants the judge to recuse from all of Davis' cases. She says that Hearns-berger once made her wear a paper surgical mask in court (ostensibly because the judge feared Davis had bird flu), has ordered her out of the courtroom for showing too much cleavage, and has otherwise treated her unfairly. At a hearing last week, Davis wanted to present witnesses, including members of Hearnsberger's staff that she intended to subpoena because they wouldn't testify voluntarily. These included trial court assistant Cindy Hunt, who Davis said had delivered many of the judge's orders to her, and bailiff Al Miller. The judge refused to hear witnesses; Davis said this violated her constitutional right of due process. Hearnsberger than read a statement saying that she was not biased and would not recuse.
One way for a higher court to consider Hearnsberger's alleged bias would be if Echols were convicted and the alleged bias was used as grounds for appealing the conviction. At press time, it was unclear whether Davis would continue to represent Echols. She didn't return calls from a reporter. Hearnsberger has refused to discuss Davis' allegations with a reporter.