Prosecutors at the V.I. District Court have been ordered to respond to a motion filed by Stephanie Barnes last week demanding that Chief Judge Robert Molloy recuses himself from her case.
The order from Judge Molloy came Tuesday and prosecutors have until Monday, June 13 to respond.
In the filing, Ms. Barnes claims that she wasn’t afforded a fair trial because of Judge Molloy’s alleged circle of close friends — among them Ms. Barnes’s co-conspirator Violet Anne Golden, Governor Albert Bryan, Attorney Kye Walker and Superior Court Judge Jessica Gallivan.
Ms. Barnes said those relationships and others influenced the case’s outcome, and she is therefore “demanding a new trial” with another judge untied to what she alleges is the judge’s web of connections that were disadvantageous to her case.
Convicted on Dec. 23 by a federal jury, Ms. Barnes faces 8 years in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit theft from programs and receiving federal funds in violation of U.S. law, receipt of stolen government monies, and filing a false tax return in violation of Virgin Islands law. The prosecution proved that she was a willing partner with Ms. Golden, the former V.I.C.C.C. chair and co-conspirator with Ms. Barnes. Ms. Golden was sentenced to two years in federal prison in 2020.
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