Arguments start in judge assault case

A former Common Pleas Court judge who resigned last year amid complaints about courtroom temperament testified yesterday against her ex-boyfriend, a fired District Attorney’s
Office narcotics detective who allegedly attacked her at her Society Hill home a year ago Sunday.

Lewis B. Palmer, 49, is charged with aggravated assault and wiretapping offenses. He allegedly choked Leslie Fleisher for several seconds, slammed her against a wall and, among other things, kicked her. Fleisher testified that the fight started when she asked Palmer to feed her cat, but he refused to because he was watching football.

After he wrapped his hand around her neck, “I landed on my feet, took a step and then my legs gave out,” Fleisher testified. She left Jefferson University Hospital without getting treatment because “they didn’t care who I was, not that I should be treated any differently.”

The wiretapping charges stem from Palmer putting Fleisher on speakerphone and playing their conversation while his boss’ voicemail recorded. Fleisher is heard taunting Palmer, who pleads with her to help him get his job back a few days after the incident.

Conflict-of-interest concerns resulted in Judge Charles Smith being brought in from Chester County, and the case being assigned to William Davis of the state Attorney General’s Office.

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