Federal judge won't step down in Houston trial

Rocky, left, and Clifford Leon Houston (Courtesy: Knox Co. Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WVLT) -- A federal judge won't recuse himself in Rocky Joe Houston's firearms trial.

The 52-year-old Roane County man faces 14 counts of being a felon in possession of guns after a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raid on his family's property earlier this month.

His brother also faces firearms charges stemming from that raid.

The Houston brothers previously faced murder charges in highly publicized cases they eventually won. The trials featured claims by the brothers that they were targets of a conspiracy.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Houston argued with U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley at a hearing earlier this month and then demanded the judge recuse himself.

In an order filed last week, Shirley said Houston's disrespectful conduct would not get him a new judge.



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