Judge to remain on Auburn student murder case

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that a Lee County judge may continue to preside over the capital murder case of a man charged with killing an Auburn University student.

Courtney Lockhart of rural Smiths Station is charged with the March 4 shooting death of Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk of Marietta, Ga.

Defense attorney Jeremy Armstrong had asked Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III to remove himself and all Lee County judges because he said they could have ties to the university that were conflicts of interest.

Walker refused, and Armstrong asked the appeals court to remove him. The court issued an order Tuesday denying that request. No explanation or opinion was issued.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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