A judge on Thursday moved a hearing date for a condemned Texas inmate so that it’s no longer scheduled for after his execution, giving his lawyers the chance to argue while he’s still alive that the conviction was unfair because the judge was allegedly having an affair with a prosecutor, reports the Associated Press. State District Judge Greg Brewer moved the hearing date for Charles Dean Hood to Monday, two days before Hood is set to die for the 1989 slaying of a couple in Plano, near Dallas.
The decision reverses a that of another judge, Robert Dry, who had set a similar hearing for Sept. 12, two days after Hood’s execution date. The hearing will address arguments that Brewer’s murder trial was unfair because of an alleged romantic relationship between the judge presiding over the trial, Verla Sue Holland, and former Collin County District Attorney Tom O’Connell. Brewer ordered Holland, now retired, and O’Connell, now in private practice, to be ready to be interviewed by lawyers Monday — if Brewer agrees at Monday’s hearing that the pair should be deposed. Neither has commented on the allegations that they were romantically involved. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said his office would file a friend of the court brief with Brewer seeking a review of the allegations of a romantic link between Holland and O’Connell.