No new cases for arrested Alabama federal judge
- Article by: KATHLEEN FOODY
- Associated Press
- August 13, 2014 - 5:00 PM
ATLANTA — The wife of a federal judge told emergency dispatchers that she was being beaten and needed an ambulance before authorities arrested her husband and charged him with battery.
The woman identified herself as Kelli Fuller and called 911 on Sunday to report that she was involved in a domestic dispute at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta.
"He's beating on me. Please help me," the woman tells the dispatcher before saying that she needed an ambulance.
The recording was released to The Associated Press on Wednesday in response to an open records request.
Atlanta police arrested U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, 55, early Sunday and charged him with misdemeanor battery. Fuller was released from jail and posted a $5,000 bond after a hearing in Fulton County Magistrate Court. He must appear in court again Aug. 22.
A woman who answered the telephone at the judge's chambers on Wednesday said they had no comment. A notice posted on the 11th Judicial Circuit's website said all cases pending before Fuller will be reassigned to other judges and no new matters would be assigned to him "until further notice."
About a minute into the call, the woman can be heard saying 'I hate you, I hate you." A male voice responds: "I hate you, too" followed by dull noises in the background.
The woman's voice can be heard loudly repeating: "Help me, please. Please help me. He's beating on me."
According to a police report, Kelli Fuller, 41, "answered the door in tears" and had visible cuts on her mouth and forehead when police arrived. She was treated at the hotel by paramedics but refused to be taken to a hospital.
Police say the judge was on the bed when they entered the room, which smelled of alcohol. There was broken glass and hair on the floor and blood was in the bathroom.
Kelli Fuller told police that her husband became violent after she accused him of having an affair with a law clerk in his Montgomery office. She said he pulled her hair, threw her to the ground and dragged her, kicked her and struck her several times in the face.
Mark Fuller told police that his wife became violent as she confronted him with allegations of cheating. The judge told police he was watching television when his wife threw a drink glass at him. He told officers that he grabbed her hair and threw her to the ground to defend himself. Mark Fuller had no visible injuries, the report said.
Mark Fuller indicated in court Monday that he will hire a private attorney. Misdemeanor offenses in Georgia generally are punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Kelli and Mark Fuller married after the judge and his previous wife, Lisa Boyd Fuller, divorced in 2012.
According to the Middle District's online schedule, Fuller had been scheduled to preside in his own courtroom Monday at 10 a.m. for a hearing. He has two trials, one of them requiring jury selection, scheduled for next week, and he has multiple hearings scheduled for Aug. 22, the day he's due back in Atlanta as a defendant.
Federal judges are confirmed by the Senate to lifetime terms, though the Senate can also remove them from office.
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