Local News

Former judge surrenders in DWI probe

Posted June 29, 2012

— A former Wake County judge surrendered Friday morning, three days after she was indicted in a scheme to alter court records in driving while impaired cases.

Kristin Ruth, who stepped down as a District Court judge in May, is charged with failure to discharge her duties. She was released on her own recognizance.

The indictments allege that evidence of blood-alcohol levels of 0.15 or higher was wrongly suppressed in seven cases and that the convictions of 39 other drivers were back-dated, meaning that some might have been spared a license suspension or had a shortened time without a license.

Defense attorney James Crouch was the defense attorney of record in each case.

Crouch was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice and one count each of altering court records and criminal conspiracy. Elizabeth Michelle Daniel, a paralegal in Crouch's office, was indicted on one count each of obstruction of justice and criminal conspiracy.

In a statement announcing her resignation, Ruth said that she trusted Crouch and that he misled her by asking her to sign court orders that differed from how he had described them.


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  • jstrummer Jun 29, 2012

    Judge Ruth was a kind and fair judge. This should've been, at most, an ethics inquiry. North Carolina is one of only a few states that permits one side - the DA - to pick the court date and the courtroom where a case is heard. In almost every other state, including nearly all other southern states, a neutral trial court administrator sets the calendar.

    A full investigation into a matter like this would also look at any instance where a District Attorney has spoken without both parties present about a case, whether it's how high a bond should be set, or in front of which judge the defendant will appear.

    A full investigation would determine whether any DA has ever set a case for trial in order that the case appear in front of a judge favored by the prosecutor.

    A full investigation would determine whether a prosecutor has ever moved any case around to find a more favorable judge.

    A full investigation would determine how cases are set for trial, and how trial lineups are established

  • reddherring1987 Jun 29, 2012

    Not at all shocked, that liberal rag, with a "little" lamb leading the way. If it were an Officer or a Trooper...The story would drag on for weeks.

  • kodac31 Jun 29, 2012

    I'm not shocked at all to see that WRAL has ALREADY REMOVED this story from the highlights of their online web site! Not shocked one bit! Go to WTVD 11's web site...they have this story on Ruth HIGHLIGHTED as the head story of the afternoon...because RUTH "snuck out the back door" to avoid news camaras...hence, a priviledge NOT allowed to ANYONE ELSE who suffered the consequences of arrest.

  • dollibug Jun 29, 2012

    Someone now needs to look around at the *family court* and just what goes on in it also. I think one of the news station tried to sit in on some cases but was told that they needed to leave.
    Does this tell anyone anything about the FAMILY COURT SYSTEM?

  • dollibug Jun 29, 2012

    KARMA is sweet...and this is just the TIP of the ICEBERG...wonder when they are going to review other cases to find out just what is taking place in Wake County...it is time for real change there also...there are laws to follow...but NO ONE TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS IS BEING DONE IN A LEGAL AND LAWFUL MANNER...I guess as with this investigation...they just *acted dumb*...and the lawyer took the fall for it...with the judge blaming it on *trusting him*...EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES...judges DO NOT ALLOW EXCUSES...

  • reddherring1987 Jun 29, 2012

    I agree Kodac! She knew, she knew exactly what was going on...... They both thought they were above the law. WRONG! I for one am glad to see these two gone. As an officer, I was admonished by Ruth for doing my job (in a case where crouch was the liar....I mean Lawyer) and accused of flat out lying, fabricating an arrest on a client of Crouch, by Crouch. (.18 was the alcohol level). These two buddies single handedly built themselves little empires from the money they made committing mis-deeds in the court. Liars both of them, scoundrels of the worst type and I can only hope that others like them will suffer the same date...... KARMA!

  • stang6000 Jun 29, 2012

    "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

  • rplusthree Jun 29, 2012

    Having the unfortunate 1st hand experience of being before Ruth's court for child support in the last 8yrs multiple times as a FULL PERMANENT custody father of 3. I have seen her hand down the harshest punishments to dead beat fathers, which they deserve, & always ruling in favor of the mothers, I agree w/ these rulings & expect nothing less from a officer of the court. However the reverse is true in my case as I sat before Ruth, over the last 8yrs, ruling each & every time in favor of my children's dead beat mother allowing her to get off w/ little more than a slap on the wrist for failures to comply & reduction in payment of support 3x despite the $6k she's behind on along w/ no documentation to support her plea. After watching, my case is usually the last, multiple men led off in handcuffs for failures to comply & their plea for support modification be reduced denied or increased despite documentation Ruth didn't even ask to look at to verify their plea, I am not on the side of any

  • kodac31 Jun 29, 2012

    Gotta love how Ruth is acting all "innocent" like she NEVER KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON...HAHAHA. PAH-Leaseeee! Ruth & Crouch went to and graduated law school together. They have been pals from the beginning. They both "assisted each other" when it came to "getting what they need"...Kinda like when Crouch talked Ruth into ruining a great State Troopers life. Ruth complied with knowingly false allegations. Guess she knows what it feels like now...

  • britsturtevant Jun 29, 2012

    she is attractive. i wonder if she is single.