District Court Judge Martha Trudo underwent surgery Monday afternoon after being injured Friday night in a car crash.

Trudo, elected judge of the 264th District Court in Belton, sustained broken bones in her legs, a broken rib and fractured spine after her car was hit head-on while travelling on Farm-to-Market 2410 Friday.

Trudo said Monday that she will likely remain in Scott & White Hospital until next week.

Texas Highway Patrol Senior Trooper Harpin Myers said a Temple police officer in a marked patrol car collided with Trudo’s car at about 6 p.m. Friday while on his way to work.

The officer had driven off the road, overcorrected and hit Trudo’s car head-on near the intersection of FM 2410 and Simmons Road just west of Belton.

Proceedings in Trudo’s court have been divided temporarily among the other district court judges at the Bell County Justice Center. Her docket consists largely of criminal work and some family law.

Trudo has served as 264th District judge since 1995.

Judge Rick Morris of the 164th District Court said the four remaining judges will work together to keep Trudo’s docket moving forward. Judge Fancy Jezek of the 426th District has taken up much of Trudo’s criminal docket, Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said.

“The judges will work it out the best they can to keep things moving,” Bledsoe said.

That included moving a jury trial Monday morning to a different court. If no judge is available to take up her cases, the county will bring in a visiting district court judge, Morris said.

“We can get it done and will get it done,” Morris said. “Her docket, like everyone else’s, is very heavy.”

The last time the courts were missing a judge for an extended amount of time was in 2006. Judge Jim Carroll was thrown from a horse and suffered a spinal cord injury that required an extended amount of time for recovery.

FME reporter Deborah McKeon contributed to this report.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553

(3) comments


I read this article with great interest, as I know the officer involved and his family. I was disappointed to read that the article appears to place the blame for the accident on the officer and makes no mention of the third motorist, the woman who pulled out into traffic directly in front of the officer and forced him to quickly choose between hitting her BROADSIDE, or taking to the ditch. He chose to take the ditch and when he hit the gravel and then corrected, he went into a spin. This accident could have been much worse and the third driver, the one who was ultimately cited for causing the accident, is likely lucky to be alive. Oh, and the car was NOT a marked police cruiser as originally stated in the article but an unmarked white car which is shown in the photograph posted in the paper. The officer should be credited with saving lives by taking quick evasive action, not surreptitiously singled out for causing the accident. I get that you want headlines and that this whole thing involved a sitting judge, which makes it more sensational, but the facts are the facts and you got them wrong. Rushing to press has caused this officer to appear guilty of things for which he is not. You owe him an apology and a retraction at the very least.


This artical is disrespectful to the officer, his family and the police department. It is very misleading and missing a major details. It fails to mention there was a third party in the situation and it makes it look like the officer was just reckless witch wasnt the case. Alot of the accusations made are clearly proven wrong just by looking at the picture of the officers car that was posted with the artical. It wasnt a marked car and it wasnt hit head on. I know Killeen Daily Herald leaves stuff out to make their storys interesting but some events need more detail along with correct information. They made this accident look really bad. I pray that the judge and the officer heel well and for the familys to know they are in our prayers


Judge JOE Carroll, not Jim ...

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