Harvey Weinstein’s legal team filed court docs Wednesday requesting that Judge James Burke step down, citing his “inflammatory” threat to throw Weinstein in jail over his cell phone use, but Burke denied their motion.
On Thursday in court, he said: “I certainly never meant that I was going to put your client in jail for life, nor did I mean that I had pre-judged whether he is guilty or not guilty or innocent of the charges. All I meant to do was scare him enough for him to discontinue using his phone. The court does not know the verdict and has not made a call on what it might or might not be.”
In a motion obtained by USA Today, he further commented: "A judge admonishing a defendant for repeatedly not following the rules of the courtroom does not show bias, but rather simply a judge maintaining order and decorum in his courtroom."
ADJOURNED FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCY
However, the jury selection could not continue until Friday. As 120 new potential jurors prepared to enter the court Thursday, Burke said that Joan Illuzzi is facing a "medical situation" and they will need to come back Friday.
He described it as a “sudden borderline emergency.”
So far, 93 of 240 potential jurors have been dismissed. The opening day of Weinstein’s criminal rape trial is set for January 22nd. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail. If convicted, he could receive life in prison.