Dallas judge under scrutiny for bail rulings recuses herself from cases
Judge Chika Anyiam, of Criminal District Court 7, recused herself Monday from 10 felony cases against Julio Guerrero.
A Dallas County judge who faced public scrutiny for lowering a murder suspect’s bail — and later raised the man’s bail amounts — has recused herself from the cases against him.
Judge Chika Anyiam, of Criminal District Court 7, recused herself Monday from 10 felony cases against Julio Guerrero, 29. The cases were moved to Judge Amber Givens’ 282nd District Court.
Anyiam signed the recusal Monday, several days after District Attorney John Creuzot filed a 45-page motion asking that she remove herself from the cases.
Creuzot argued that Anyiam’s impartiality could reasonably be questioned after she lowered Guerrero’s bail amounts considerably while his defense lawyer is one of her top campaign contributors, and then raised his bail after media reports about her rulings.
Anyiam did not immediately respond to a request for comment. She did not provide any explanation for her decision in the recusal document.
Guerrero was arrested in June after a standoff with police in east Oak Cliff. He was wanted in the slaying of a 35-year-old man in May and a shooting a week later at a gas station that critically injured a 3-year-old girl.
In addition to the murder charge, Guerrero faces four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and two drug charges.
Anyiam lowered Guerrero’s total bail from $2 million to $510,000 last month after his attorney said he couldn’t afford it, but later raised bail on the murder charge from $100,000 to $600,000.
Anyiam later raised Guerrero’s bail on the assault charges, making his total bail $1.96 million — roughly the same amount he initially faced.
When Anyiam lowered Guerrero’s bail, she was criticized by local and state officials and police associations.
Gov. Greg Abbott called the move “outrageous,” while Dallas police Chief Eddie García said it was “a slap in the face” to police and victims.
Tom Cox, Guerrero’s attorney, said in a court filing that the judge’s decision to raise the bail appeared to be in response to media attention.
Campaign finance reports show Cox donated $5,000 to Anyiam’s most recent campaign. His contribution was the largest she received in that period, Creuzot wrote in his motion.