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JUDGE DISQUALIFIES HIMSELF

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Second District Judge David Roth has disqualified himself from presiding over the trial for an Ogden man accused of stealing $181,000 from investors because the judge said he had strong opinions about the case.

Robert Johnson, 41, South Ogden, was scheduled for a jury trial Tuesday before Roth on 15 counts of securities fraud.A co-defendant, Blake Adams, 36, Gilbert, Arizona, was charged with the same felony counts, but entered guilty pleas to three charges following plea-bargain negotiations. Roth handled the sentencing stage and ordered Adams to spend 30 days in the Weber County Jail and to pay back the $180,000.

Both men had operated the Johnson-Adams Corp., collecting $181,000 from investors in 1984 with promises of a 200 percent return within two months. The investors never saw their money again. Johnson has entered not-guilty pleas to the charges.

Defense attorney Joe Bottoms argued that Roth should step down because during the Adams sentencing, a statement was made that Johnson was more culpable than Adams.