By Jay Reeves
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | An Alabama federal judge could avoid prosecution on a battery charge that was filed after his wife called police from an Atlanta hotel room and said he was beating her.
Court programs help some defendants avoid criminal prosecution, and U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller would be open to such a chance in Fulton County, one of his lawyers said Thursday.
The defense has said the 55-year-old Fuller is entering treatment for an unspecified reason, and one of the programs the Atlanta court offers is for people in treatment programs.
Jeff Brickman, a former Georgia prosecutor representing Fuller on the misdemeanor battery charge, said he plans to talk to a Fulton County prosecutor soon about the possibility of ending the case without a full-blown prosecution of Fuller.
“We would love to resolve the case short of it being formally prosecuted,” said Brickman.
Fuller has a clean record and could be a good candidate for a pre-trial program, Brickman said.
A prosecutor with the Fulton County Solicitor’s Office did not return a message seeking comment.
Police arrested Fuller on Aug. 10 and charged him with misdemeanor battery. On a 911 recording, a woman who said she was Fuller’s wife can be heard saying ‘I hate you, I hate you.” A male voice responds: “I hate you, too,” followed by dull noises in the background.
Mark Fuller, who is free on bond and is no longer handling cases, told police his wife became violent as she confronted him with allegations of cheating, a police report said.
Records show Fuller is next due in court for a hearing on Sept. 5.
“There may be a way to resolve it on Sept. 5 but that decision hasn’t been made yet,” said Brickman.
Fuller, appointed to the bench by then-President George W. Bush, has a lifetime appointment and continues receiving his annual salary of about $200,000 despite being stripped of courtroom duties.
Federal judges can be removed only through impeachment by Congress, but legal experts say they also are subject to administrative procedures that can result in censure, reprimands or a request for their resignation.