WASHINGTON — Miami police arrested a man wanted for assaulting and kidnapping a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge, NBC4 reports.
Rickley Joshua Senning, 24, is awaiting extradition proceedings to Montgomery County, Maryland.
Senning had been wanted for the May 19 kidnapping, false imprisonment, auto theft and two counts of second degree assault, according to Montgomery County police.
Police took him into custody Tuesday night after his landlord noticed him acting strangely and called police, NBC4 reports. When checking Senning’s record, Miami officers realized there was an outstanding warrant for Senning.
Senning, a convicted felon, is accused of attacking Circuit Judge Audrey Creighton, 53, and driving off in her BMW last week. Court and police records say the two were romantically involved, The Washington Post reports.
During the attack, Senning yanked Creighton’s hair and screamed at her to drive him to Gaithersburg, Maryland. She managed to jump out of the car and call for help from Harris Teeter.
Court records say Creighton had filed a protective order against Senning the day after the assualt, saying he briefly lived at her home.
She had once defended Senning when he was 19 and faced a trespassing charge, and she was a public defender.
Professor Paul Rothstein at the Georgetown University Law Center says it’s not clear whether Creighton’s relationship with a convicted felon is a violation of judicial ethics.
Outside of ongoing cases, “a person, a lawyer, a judge, is entitled to associate with, and have a relationship with whomever they want,” Rothstein says.
Rothstein says a lawyer is barred from engaging in an intimate relationship with a client while the client-attorney relationship exists. But once that’s over, a private relationship is private.
Sources familiar with the workings of the legal community in Montgomery County say that it’s entirely reasonable to think that the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disability, which monitors judicial conduct, may be investigating the nature of Creighton’s relationship. Officials at the commission would not comment, explaining that investigations into a judge’s conduct are confidential.
Rothstein says it shouldn’t affect Creighton’s professional career.