Karon Bowdre, the U.S. District judge presiding over the criminal trial of Richard Scrushy, founder and former chief executive officer of HealthSouth Corp., in Birmingham, Ala., unsealed transcripts from a November 2003 meeting with the prosecution and defense that revealed her friendship with Scrushy's former wife and one of his daughters. Bowdre said in the transcripts that she rode horses at the same stable and became friendly with Scrushy's daughter, Melissa, and his former wife, Karen Brooks, and she had met Richard Scrushy two or three times. She also said her friendship with Melissa had suffered because Scrushy evicted Bowdre's trainers from the stable. Bowdre expressed concern in the transcripts about being assigned the case because she lacked experience in criminal trials and also is handling the HealthSouth civil cases, which are being held until the criminal trial concludes. Lawyers from the prosecution and defense asked no questions, according to the transcripts. Closing arguments in the criminal trial are scheduled for Wednesday morning. Scrushy is facing 48 charges alleging he played a major role in $2.6 billion accounting fraud that occurred at HealthSouth. -- by Joseph Mantone
Transcripts reveal judge's friendship with Scrushy family
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