A Father Met His Newborn Son Thanks To This Judge

Judge Amber Wolf is making headlines again — for all the right reasons. The Kentucky judge's actions recently went viral when she apologized to an inmate who was denied pants and feminine hygiene products in jail. Now, she's in the news for letting a defendant meet his 1-month-old son for the first time. James Roeder's baby was born while Roeder was in custody. He and his wife Ashley are co-defendants in the same burglary case, TV station WDRB reports, and Wolf had issued a no-contact order for the couple. So, when their son was born while they awaited trial, Roeder was unable to meet him. Last Friday, Wolf noticed Ashley holding the baby in a spot where her husband could see him during his hearing. She then realized Roeder hadn't yet met his son. "I saw her try to hold the baby up when he came out for his case to be called with his attorney," the judge told WDRB. "And I thought that he hadn’t seen that. And it occurred to me after we finished this case that he had not met his baby — who was 30 days old — and that he was not going to get an opportunity to meet his baby anytime in the near future." So, she did what she told WDRB was "probably one of the best things" she's ever done — she asked if Ashley would like her husband to hold their son. When the woman said yes, the judge called Roeder back to the courtroom. "I don't want you to say anything about your case at all," she told him. "Don't say anything. Your lawyer is not present right now. But I understand that there is a chance that you're going to go back to Todd County, and your baby is a month old, and you haven't met that baby yet. Is that right?" When Roeder answered yes, Wolf asked the wife to approach the bench carrying the baby. "I know you have a no-contact order between you and Mrs. Roeder that I issued — and I am not changing that," she said. "I'm making a temporary exception right in front of me, on the record, so that you can meet this baby. This is your son." When Roeder finally held his child, there was not a single dry eye in the courtroom. "It wasn't really a judge thing. I think it was just more of a human thing," she told WDRB. She added, "I think everybody was a little bit touched by it, and I just hope it gave him a little bit of closure, and impacted him in a positive manner."

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