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Judge Tests Positive For Coke, Gets Bond Revoked – Above the Law

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Judge Tests Positive For Coke, Gets Bond Revoked – Above the Law

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Handcuffs and FingerprintsYou’d think being arrested and facing charges of coercing a witness and harassment would be the nadir of someone’s judicial career, but you’d be wrong! Judge A. Melissa Boyd of Shelby County, Tennessee, was arrested in December on charges related to allegations she attempted to influence her former campaign manager’s testimony in an investigation by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct. The trial is scheduled for later this month, and Boyd was suspended from her judicial post, but was out on bond. The conditions for her release stipulated she had to refrain from using drugs and submit to testing for illicit substances.

During the month of March, Boyd reportedly tested positive twice for cocaine and did not show up for an additional drug screening. As a result, Judge Roy Morgan revoked her bond, saying, “A lot of effort has been offered, and it’s just not working.” He continued, “And that’s sad, just so sad.” Boyd has since been booked into jail.

Boyd’s attorney Arthur Horne III, said that his client “needs help” and is “in a full relapse” and is “not thinking with a clear head.”

Boyd’s legal troubles began with a May 2023 social media post of her appearing in a judicial robe that solicited contribution. She was reprimanded for the post, but the investigation into the matter revealed even more issues. As reported by the ABA Journal:

During that investigation, the board received affidavits from Boyd’s former campaign manager, a woman who had a close personal relationship with Boyd, who said she discovered what appeared to be cocaine in Boyd’s home and told her to get help.

The woman also said she woke up one morning and saw Boyd sitting in a car outside her house and taking pictures. Boyd allegedly accused the campaign manager of having a “whore” inside her home and appeared to be intoxicated. Boyd also allegedly texted the woman a picture of her prior marriage license and information about her divorce.

The former campaign manager told the conduct board that Boyd had asked her to withdraw her complaint.

Evidence was also presented to the judicial conduct board of the judge’s drug use for which Boyd received a reprimand. Boyd also negotiated a suspension with pay from her position.

The judicial conduct board is recommending Boyd’s removal. The Tennessee General Assembly will vote on that recommendation later this week.


Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @Kathryn1@mastodon.social.



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