GLEN BURNIE, Md, (WJZ) — A district court judge is under the microscope this week after a decision to reject a peace order.
More than 5,000 people have signed a petition to remove the judge who denied Tyrique Hudson a protective order against his neighbor in February. That neighbor was charged in Hudson’s murder just two months later.
Now, his friends and thousands of others want Judge Devy Patterson Russell to be removed from office.
Hudson, 22, requested an order of protection on February 16, 2019.
According to Hudson, 53-year-old James Allen Verombeck made a death threat against him.
Russell denied the request because Hudson “could not meet the burden of proof.”
The Baltimore City judge is serving on a temporary basis in Anne Arundel County as she awaits a ruling from the state’s court of appeals.
A commission tasked to oversee the courts: recommended a six-month suspension last year citing her workplace conduct.
It was on that temporary assignment in Anne Arundel County, Judge Russell reviewed a petition for a peace order in February.
“I think if they would’ve given him the protective order that that boy would still be alive,” said Helen Larkins.
“I feel like they have failed my son. They failed me. He had a bright and promising future,” said Tonya Burch, Hudson’s mother.
Hudson’s mom and family are now left wondering whether that order could have saved his life.
The 22-year-old was gunned down in the stairwell of Colonial Square Apartments in Glen Burnie around 7:10 a.m. on April 15.
After a nine-hour long standoff, police arrested Verombeck for Hudson’s murder.
Hudson was a recent college graduate who started a promising career as an engineer with Northrop Grumman Corporation in Annapolis.
“That could have saved his life, had he was given that restraining order and more action could have been taken, that could have very well saved this young man’s life, but now he’s gone and somebody needs to be held accountable for that,” said Dr. Joe Davis, a friend of family.
“We are requesting a thorough investigation into the history of Judge Russell. We would like the investigation to include the number of orders of protections that were granted and those that were denied, and also to go beyond to see if there is a discrepancy in the number denied towards minorities compared to whites,’ the petition said.
Read the petition here.
“The courts in Maryland — somebody who is in positions of authority — need to answer questions to his family,” Davis added.
The Commission on Judicial Disabilities, who brought these original charges against Judge Russell, has a hearing scheduled in June.
The court of appeals will decide on her suspension by September.
The Maryland Judiciary would not give WJZ a photo of Judge Devy Patterson Russell.