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Judge Recuses Self From Adam Hall Case

Judge Walter Schwarm steps down during a pre-trial conference on Wednesday. Hall's Feb. 13 car accident took the life of resident and good samaritan Mara Steves.

District Attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami says that Judge Walter Schwarm has recused himself from the murder trial today due to “personal knowledge of two of the witnesses.”

Hall is accused of being under the influence of several drugs during a . Hall has had two prior DUI convictions. His bail is still set at $5 million.

Schwarm, 47, of Laguna Niguel, was appointed to the Orange Superior Court Bench in 2009 by Gov. Schwarzenegger to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William Evans.

Schwarm is also the judge who heard the case of Bradley Stewart Wagner, the Anaheim police officer who used his badge to sexually victimize illegal-immigrant women working around Disneyland.

According to Emami, it is not unusual for a judge to recuse himself if they have awareness of one of the parties in a case.

Emami does not know yet if Hall's Nov. 17 pre-trial hearing will be postponed.

Authorities say Hall, 27, had 10 kinds of drugs and medication in his system during the crash. Orange County sheriff's deputies   Authorities spent more than three months investigating the crash, which drew national attention. Hall has been held at the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana since his arrest.

Steves was in traffic Feb. 13. She is survived by her husband, John, and two teenagers, Jonathan and Hannah.

Jim Brentwood December 01, 2011 at 10:56 PM
I wanted to thank you Debbie for staying on this and keeping us all up to date. I know as time goes bye the story looses its appeal to some people, but for many of us it is still very, very serious and real! So please continue to give us each and every bit of info., God bless Mara and her children..

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