Judge in big trouble for telling double murderer she hopes he dies soon

Metro 3 weeks ago
Photo of Judge Robin Lemonidis next to photo of double murderer Anthony Welch
Judge Robin Lemonidis has been reprimanded for telling a double murderer she hopes he dies within the next six weeks during an appeal hearing (Pictures: WESH)

A judge has been publicly reprimanded for telling a convicted double-murderer she hopes he dies soon.

Judge Robin Lemonidis admitted inappropriate conduct for delivering the barb as she reduced killer Anthony Welch’s death sentence to a life behind bars.

Addressing Welch in Brevard County, Florida, Lemonidis then said: ‘I hope you do fight for your life every minute of every day.

‘And that would be the only reason that I would hope your life is any longer than six weeks.’

Lemonidis also told Welch, 40, she hopes he will see the faces of his victims, Kyoko and Rufus Johnson ‘on every single face you see.’

Welch killed the couple in 2000 after they refused to give him $5,000. The Johnsons were his neighbors in Melbourne, Florida, and had been kind to Johnson throughout his childhood.

After the killings, Welch stole the couple’s television and microwave, then took his girlfriend on a date, WESH reported.

He was verbally attacked by Lemonidis after successfully appealing the death sentence he’d previously been given.

The barb was delivered out of shot of a camera in Judge Lemonidis’s courtroom.

She is in trouble because her ‘scornful and vitriolic’ comment ‘surrendered the impartiality and integrity’ of the court.

Photo of murder victims Kyoko and Rufus Johnson
Welch murdered neighbors Kyoko and Rufus Johnson after demanding they give him $5,000 in 2000 (Picture: WESH)

Florida’s judicial watchdog said it was particularly disturbed by Lemonidis’s desire that Welch should have to fight for his life every day, or die within six weeks.

The judge has since issued a statement saying she ‘regrets’ damaging the integrity of the judiciary.

She has agreed to accept a public reprimand intended to shame her into not going off-piste again.

Tags: US, World

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