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An El Paso district judge could be forced to leave the bench

EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso district judge is on the precipice of being forced to step down.

A state agency - The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, is investigating 21 complaints about Judge Marcos Lizarraga of the 168th district court's handling of a murder trial.

The trial in question is that Moises Galvan who is accused of shooting and killing Rogelio "RJ" Franco outside a bar on Jan. 29, 2017.

In 2019 Judge Lizarraga granted a mistrial after he says prosecutors asked an improper question of Galvan when he took the stand in his own defense.

Through State court records obtained by ABC-7, in these complaints, Lizarraga is being accused of bias against the prosecution, an improper relationship and bias towards the defense and an improper in-chambers hearing. He is also being accused of not cooperating with the commission's investigation into these complaints.

According to the documents, Lizarraga was first contacted by the Commission on May 10, 2021. That letter requested the judge respond in writing by June 7. After back and forth for months that included him appearing before the Commission in Oct. of 2021, the judge has not answered the Commission's Letter of Inquiry.

Since the mistrial more than two years ago, the case has not been retried despite being set for trial in both August of 2019 and January 2020.

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Rachel Phillips


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