The attorney for Elisabeth Anne (Betty) Broderick on Tuesday filed a motion to challenge Vista Superior Court Judge Franklin J. Mitchell Jr., alleging that Mitchell’s ties to San Diego’s legal community--and Mitchell’s wife’s job--make him unable to fairly preside over Broderick’s murder trial.
Jack M. Earley, Broderick’s attorney, has been outspoken in his belief that his client cannot receive a fair trial in San Diego County because Daniel T. Broderick III, her ex-husband and one of her alleged victims, was a prominent medical malpractice attorney with extensive legal contacts.
In his motion, Earley claimed that Mitchell has too many contacts with judges whom Earley plans to call as witnesses to establish Betty Broderick’s state of mind during her drawn out divorce. Furthermore, Earley’s motion alleged, Mitchell’s wife’s job as a clerk in Vista Municipal Court may create an appearance of impropriety, since Earley plans to examine the clerk’s office in regard to the loss of part of the Broderick divorce file.
Betty Broderick, 42, is accused of murdering her ex-husband, 44, and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, 28, on Nov. 5. She has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.