Judge declines prosecutors’ request that she step down from murder trial

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PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — A Kitsap County judge asked by prosecutors to recuse herself from the trial of a man accused of strangling his girlfriend says she will not.

The Kitsap Sun reports (https://goo.gl/Z8Hp3W ) Judge Jeanette Dalton declined to step down Tuesday after hearing arguments in which prosecutors said she had been talking about the case outside of court.

Dalton is overseeing the case of 35-year-old David Kalac, who is accused of strangling 30-year-old Amber Coplin in November 2014 and posting photos of her body on the internet.

Prosecutors say Dalton made statements to a deputy prosecutor who is not on the case. The alleged statements were critical of the state’s expert witness and how the state has proceeded in the case.

Dalton says her comments were within judicial guidelines and there was no evidence presented that she had damaged the case.

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