UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman is now in charge of prosecution and charging decisions relating to the case of an East Texas judge.

District Judge Dean Fowler, who presides over the 115th District Court in Upshur County, was charged with driving while intoxicated following an arrest in early September.

Four days after his arrest, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd filed a motion asking to be recused from prosecution and charging decisions in this case.

Judge Alfonso Charles agreed and assigned Putman the case.

“Judge Fowler and I work closely every day in the 115th District Court. I wanted to ensure our citizens that there was no appearance or actual impropriety and the only way to do that was to remove myself,” Byrd said in a press release. “Our citizens need to know that their business is being handled professionally and that the pursuit of justice is always our goal. Removing any potential conflicts or appearance of impropriety was the only way to proceed forward.”

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