Appeals Judge Fights to Keep Job

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    NEWSLETTERS

    flickr/Silly Jilly

    A judge nicknamed "Killer Keller" by death penalty opponents is fighting to remain the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals presiding judge in one of several statewide races Tuesday.

    Judge Sharon Keller faced discipline in 2010 for closing the court at 5 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2007. Lawyers for condemned killer Michael Richard said they were blocked from filing a last-minute appeal. He was executed that night for the rape and slaying of a nurse.

    In Tuesday's election she faces defense attorney Keith Hampton, a Democrat trying to break the GOP's hold on the state's highest court for criminal cases.

    Two Texas Supreme Court justices are also seeking re-election. In the third open seat, a former state district judge who defeated the incumbent in the Republican primary has no Democratic opponent.