Days later, Norris reached out to a friend, bail bondsman John Elliott, and asked him to tell Owens he wanted to talk to him. On July 10, 2019, Owens, Elliott and another bondsman went to the courthouse. At the doorway to Norris’ chambers, an armed deputy had the three men place their cellphones in a box.
Once inside the judge’s chambers, Norris ignored Owens’ request to have a lawyer present. And with a deputy standing in the doorway, Owens said he felt like he had no option to leave. Norris then lit into Owens, berating him for about 30 minutes.
In its opinion, the court found that Norris had violated two codes of conduct: one that requires judges to act in a way that promotes confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, the other that requires judges to be “patient, dignified and courteous” to people they deal with in their official capacity.