Alabama federal judge resolves wife-beating charge with court program

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 05, 2014 1:21 PM

(Reuters) - An Alabama federal district court judge facing accusations he beat his wife agreed on Friday to attend a 24-week program on family and domestic violence and undergo a substance abuse assessment to resolve the charges, his attorney said.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, 55, was arrested last month and charged with a misdemeanor count of battery after his wife called police from an Atlanta hotel room to say he had hit her.

"This incident has been very embarrassing to me, my family, friends and the court," Fuller said in a statement in which he also expressed regret that his decision to accept a pre-trial diversion offer would likely prevent the full facts about what happened from coming out.

Fuller has already begun voluntary treatment and counseling, and the court program was offered and approved with the support of Fuller's wife, according to his attorney, Barry Ragsdale. Fuller has already been tested for substance abuse and no issues were found, Ragsdale said.

A 2002 appointee of former President George W. Bush, Fuller is facing an administrative complaint and was stripped of his docket by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals following the incident.

"I also look forward to addressing the concerns of the court and hopefully returning to full, active status in the Middle District of Alabama," he said in the statement.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Fla.; Editing by Dan Grebler and Eric Beech)