CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Judge Makes Exception, Allows Inmate to Meet 1-month-old Son for First Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky judge, who recently made headlines because she was furious over an inappropriately dressed inmate, is making headlines again after she allowed an inmate to meet his one-month-old son for the first time during a court hearing.

Judge Amber Wolf had just wrapped up a hearing for James Roeder and was about to begin a hearing for his wife, Ashley Roeder, when the judge did “probably one of the best things” she has ever done, according to WDRB.

James and Ashley are co-defendants in the same burglary case and were ordered to have no contact with each other. Despite the ruling, when the judge learned James had not met his one-month-old son, she made a special arrangement.

“I saw her try to hold the baby up when he came out for his case to be called with his attorney,” Judge Wolf told WDRB. “And I thought that he hadn’t seen that. And it occurred to me after we finished this case that he had not met his baby — who was 30 days old — and that he was not going to get an opportunity to meet his baby anytime in the near future.”

In the video, you can hear the judge giving clear instructions about the special meeting:

Judge Wolf: “I don’t want you to say anything about your case at all. Don’t say anything. Your lawyer is not present right now. But I understand that there is a chance that you’re going to go back to Todd County, and your baby is a month old, and you haven’t met that baby yet. Is that right?”

James Roeder: “Yes maam.”

Judge Wolf: “Mrs. Roeder, do you want to come up here?”

Ashley Roeder is shown in the video carrying their one-month-old child up to the podium. She hands the infant to James, who holds the baby for the first time.

Judge Wolf reminded the couple their no-contact order is still intact, and that this was a “temporary exception.”

The judge told WDRB, “It wasn’t really a judge thing. I think it was just more of a human thing.”

The couple faces burglary charges connected to a Feb. 9 incident in which police say they broke into a business and stole six televisions, according to WDRB.