Gaming With Defendant Costs Judge His Seat

Weird story out of Bristol, Va.; a judge there has abandoned his seat after it came to light that he'd been a constant video gaming companion of a man he'd sent to jail at least three times over the years.

The gaming friendship Judge Joseph R. Carico, 40, had with Jeremy Hubbard, 28, came to light after a late-night car crash last year that hospitalized Hubbard. Carico swerved to avoid a deer on Nov. 22 and smashed into a tree. Of course, as Hubbard's past came to light, some of it Carico's court, where he'd been jailed and sentenced to community service before, the story about their gaming habits came out.

Hubbard told the Bristol Herald Courier that in 2008, the two talked about their enjoyment of games during a happenstance meeting at a restaurant where Hubbard worked. That led to many game sessions that got so serious, the two thought about forming a competitive gaming team along with some of Hubbard's neighbors.

They actually had crossed paths a lot earlier, in 2003, when Carico was in the state attorney general's office and prosecuted Hubbard on a drug charge. In 2005, Carico became a judge, later recusing himself from a case against Hubbard that had been brought before he had come to the office.

There's nothing wrong with being gaming BFFs with a felon, unless you're a judge, where it raises questions of propriety and conflict of interest. Carico hasn't stuck around to answer them. He's bolted his seat, leaving the other judges to pick up his case load, and isn't answering calls for comment. That leaves it to Hubbard to defend the guy who prosecuted him.

Their Halo 3 match late on Nov. 21, 2009, was set up after several telephone calls and text messages that night, Hubbard said. They met at Hubbard's house for a brief round of Playstation 3 games. From there, Hubbard said, the two trekked to Carico's home for more video games.

"People are saying there was drugs involved and there was this, and there was alcohol and none of this [expletive] is true," Hubbard said. "Everybody wants to make up their own story and their own thing about what [expletive] happened."

Odd Story of Judge and Defendant Gaming Together
[Game Politics]