Two Caddo judges pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon in federal court in Shreveport to charges that they accepted bribes in exchange for judicial favors.
District Judge Michael Walker and Juvenile Judge Vernon Claville appeared before U.S. Magistrate Mark Hornsby to answer to charges of racketeering. Authorities allege Walker and Claville accepted a total of 24 bribes between May and July.
And local bondsman Larry N. Williams pleaded not guilty to charges that he used his connection with the two judges to secure low bonds and bond reductions and to have probation and juvenile court holds removed.
Each of the three was released on a $250,000 unsecured bond and must surrender their passports by 4 p.m. Monday. Walker surrendered his passport Friday.
All three have the right to a speedy trial, to be held within 70 days, Hornsby said.