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UPDATED: Judge Murdoch Bonded Out of Jail

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Most of the cases that were to go before District Court Judge Albert S. Pat Murdoch on Wednesday will be heard by Judge Neil Candelaria, according to a news release. Murdoch had eight scheduled cases today, seven of which were 8:30 a.m. plea hearings. The cases were being handled by Candelaria.

Court officials first said Murdoch’s Wednesday cases would be rescheduled but later amended that information.

Embattled state District Court Judge Albert S. “Pat” Murdoch has bonded out of the Metropolitan Detention Center and is now awaiting a first appearance in court.

Murdoch, who was charged with criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness in a case that stunned the legal community, was expected to see a judge today but will not be in court until Thursday at the earliest, Metro Court spokeswoman Janet Blair said.

Although he is scheduled for a felony first appearance in front of Metro Judge Linda Rogers on Thursday, that could be delayed if Rogers recuses herself from the case, Blair said. Blair said a number of judges could end up recusing themselves because of ties to Murdoch, a longtime criminal judge. The court may have to hire an outside, temporary judge.

Meanwhile, there is still no word on the cases that Murdoch was supposed to hear today. There were eight cases on Murdoch’s docket.

The judge was arrested Tuesday shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday after police found video evidence of him allegedly raping a prostitute in his Northeast Heights home. A criminal complaint states the woman had visited Murdoch at his home about eight times, and that she once secretly videotaped an encounter.

Murdoch bonded out of jail late Tuesday night. He does not yet have an attorney listed on the Metro Court website.