DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer is slaying Gwinnett judges — figuratively anyhow.
At least three of the dozen Superior Court judges in the circuit have recused themselves from Kramer’s court challenge to his own plea in his 14-year-old child-molestation case; in 2013 he agreed to 34 months of house arrest in Duluth.
Kramer wants the plea dismissed — contending his case had been closed in 2009 and should not have been reopened.
The case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge Warren Davis — at least for now. No court date has been set. “At this point, it is ours,” Angela Woodruff who coordinates Davis’ calendar, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday. “For how long….”
Kramer’s lawyer Stephen Reba filed a demand in court Oct. 24 that the entire Gwinnett bench recuse itself. That follows his forcing District Attorney Danny Porter off the case by accusing him of conspiring with Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers, the trial judge.
Judges Ronnie Batchelor and Tom Davis, a former chief deputy prosecutor in Gwinnett, recused themselves right before Thanksgiving; staff members did not know the specific reason
Beyers, got off the case Nov. 14 — four days after Reba filed papers specifically targeting her stewardship of the case and 15 days after she had denied his demand to disqualify the Gwinnett circuit, according to court records.
“We’ve washed our hands of it,” said Jenise Rivera, judicial assistant for Beyers.
The legal mess began in October after Kramer filed court demands to set aside his 2013 plea — which came right on the eve of his trial for child molestation on a 2000 indictment that accused him of molesting three boys ages 13 to 15.
The plea was a victory of sorts because he was granted house arrest for a 5-year sentence. The trial date came after his hard-fought battle to delay it, citing among other things his complex medical issues. Beyers sentenced him to 60 years with five of them in custody. Because of credit for 26 months in jail his home confinement, except for medical appointments, was to be for 34 months.
Now Reba and Kramer are contending that Porter colluded with Beyers to improperly re-activate the case which they claim had been effectively ended with an order in 2009. They also contend the judge refused to provide medical equipment to aid Kramer for the scheduled 2013 trial.
In 2009, Reba contends, Beyers ruled that Kramer’s assessment of his medical issues would dictate when a trial could be commenced. Beyers stated then that she did not believe his medical condition would improve enough for trial “based on the degenerative nature of your medical condition,” Reba said in court filings.
“Due to Mr. Kramer’s significant disabilities, Judge Beyers entered an order in 2009 giving Mr. Kramer the sole authority of when to ask for a trial,” Reba said. “Accordingly Mr. Kramer was allowed to leave the state of Georgia and the prosecution was effectively over.”
Porter disputes that the judge gave Kramer the power to decide whether he would go to trial. Beyers said in court papers that a stipulation to Kramer’s ability to leave the state was that he not be alone with any person younger than 16.
Kramer violated that stipulation when he was found to be sharing a motel room in Connecticut with a 14-year-old boy in 2011, which is why he was arrested and extradited back to Georgia to stand trial, Porter said.
Kramer no longer has any association with the popular sci-fi and pop culture convention DragonCon, that populates downtown Atlanta with outlandish costumes on Labor Day weekend.
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