Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case against Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure, her husband and another woman met behind closed doors Friday morning. When they emerged, it was announced that the preliminary hearing, which had been going on for several days this week, was being cut short.
"We thought it was in the best interest of all parties to stop the proceedings in a public forum," said defense attorney Richard Anderson. "[We want] to see if we can resolve this case favorably for everyone."
Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure came out of the meeting with her husband and their lawyers. She said she was a good mom.
"I don't have any other comment than we love our children. All of them," Judge Bass-LeSure said.
Attorneys said they had not reached a plea deal as of Friday.
"There are some on-going negotiations with the district attorney's office," Anderson said.
The announcement came after several days of testimony and almost a dozen witnesses taking the stand. Judge Bass-LeSure and her husband are charged with felony counts of fraud, perjury and conspiracy. They are accused of taking payments from the state for foster children they later adopted, who allegedly lived with Ravonda Edwards, the sister of Bass-LeSure's bailiff. Edwards also waived her preliminary hearing Friday morning.
"I think that you saw in the courtroom that Revonda Edwards was a very good mother to these kids," Edwards' attorney Gary James said.
James said cutting the preliminary hearing short was in the best interest of his client, not because Judge Bass-LeSure decided to do it.
"For my client's case, I hope it works out for her. I've never wavered in my position on the case but you always look at negotiations to avoid exposure and if you have something to avoid exposure, you do it."
Judge Bass-LeSure's husband Karlos LeSure also waived his right to a preliminary hearing. His attorney said he was confident that it will be resolved in the best interest of all parties involved.