3 Portsmouth judges request recusal from Whitaker case

Portsmouth Councilman Mark Whitaker. Credit: WAVY-TV 10

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Three Portsmouth judges have asked to be recused from hearing the case of indicted councilman Mark Whitaker.

The judges, Johnny Morrison, Kenneth Melvin and Chief Judge William Moore, say in a request filed April 25 it would be improper for them to hear the case, because Whitaker is a council member and is well-known to them.

Whitaker was indicted last week on 20 felony charges, including identity fraud and forgery.

Court documents claim he forged the name of a 61-year-old woman on seven of her own checks and then tried to pass them.

A trial for the case has been set for Nov. 13, and is expected to last five days.