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Judicial Council to investigate judge in Dietrich case

District Judge Randy Stoker speaks to Dawn Marie Orr during her sentencing hearing Friday, July 24, 2015, at the Twin Falls County Courthouse.
District Judge Randy Stoker speaks to Dawn Marie Orr during her sentencing hearing Friday, July 24, 2015, at the Twin Falls County Courthouse.

TWIN FALLS — The Idaho Judicial Council will investigate a complaint against District Judge Randy Stoker in the case of a Lincoln County teen accused of assaulting a fellow football player with a hanger.

Caldwell teacher Monica Ryan started an online petition demanding Stoker be removed from the bench. The petition has garnered more than 170,000 signatures since December, many of them added since Stoker sentenced Howard last week to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.

Ryan told the Times-News March 2 that she got her complaint notarized and mailed it to the council.

The complaint in the case of Idaho vs. John Howard will be investigated by Robert Hamlin, former judicial council executive director.

The council said it had received a number of complaints against Stoker during the case but none were verified.

Stoker has been criticized online and by groups like the NAACP for accepting a plea agreement in the Dietrich case that many felt wasn’t harsh enough against John R.K Howard, who pleaded guilty to kicking a hanger that hung from the buttocks of a black, mentally disabled football teammate.

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