Judge Ben Willard
Judge Ben Willard showed temperament yesterday, and consistency over time, another good trait. He has seen this defendant 20 times over 2+ years. The defendant had shown up all 20 times, and passed all his 2o drug screens save his first. The defendant showed he was a regular guy and the judge treated him as such at the trial. He bent over backwards to accommodate the defense legal council when a few liberties were taken in his presentation of the case.
He was tough on the prosecutor, who managed his case very poorly by mistaking smoke and mirrors for a real case and going to trial without doing his homework. He then creating his own doubt with his own witnesses, who gave unsteady testimony except for a single female NOPD Officer, who was the Rock of Gibraltar under tough cross examination by the defense. That’s extremely admirable, her grace under fire, a tough act to always pull off when the defense tries to get your goat.