HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — All Hampton Circuit Court Judges have been recused from the felony child neglect case against Cory Bigsby.
Bigsby’s attorney, Jeffrey Ambrose, said he received word from the Hampton Circuit Court on Thursday, Feb. 17.
The order was filed on Tuesday, February 15. In it, Chief Judge Michael A. Gaten requested that the Supreme Court of Virginia appoint a judge to sit in for Hampton’s judges.
Ambrose said there are a number of reasons judges may be recused from a case.
“Judges have a duty to ensure that when they oversee a matter that they can do so fairly and impartially,” Ambrose said. “If there is any concern about that, it is the judge’s duty to step back and allow a judge that does not have any potential disqualifying interactions with the case to allow them to step in and be that neutral party that needs to be present for our justice system to work.”
Bigsby was denied bond on the felony child neglect charges on Feb. 8 in Hampton Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Ambrose filed a bond appeal, which is scheduled to be heard in Hampton Circuit Court on Feb. 25. Ambrose said the judges’ recusal could impact that hearing.
“It very well may mean that we cannot proceed with the bond hearing on the 25th,” Ambrose said. “Scheduling this with a new judge and the court and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and my office is an ongoing process now, but it’s entirely possible that the bond hearing on the 25th may not occur if we don’t have a judge to hear it.”
Bigsby was charged with felony child neglect four days after he reported his 4-year-old son Codi missing to the Hampton Police Department. The agency launched a massive search operation that included several agencies, including the FBI, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and community volunteers. Codi remains missing.
Bigsby is the main person of interest in Codi’s disappearance, although the felony child neglect charges aren’t directly related to the 4-year-old’s case. They stem from alleged incidents that happened in December and January in which Bigsby told police he left his four young children home alone with no way to contact emergency services.
Police on Thursday sent out a tweet that asked for information from anyone who had seen Codi in the past three months, which goes back to mid-November. Police previously asked for information from anyone who had seen Codi since Christmas. Police also said anyone who has home cameras near Buckroe Pointe apartments to come forward.
Bigsby remained in police custody from Jan. 31 until he was charged with neglect on Feb. 3.
Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot originally said Bigsby was voluntarily answering questions and had not requested an attorney; however, on Monday, Talbot told the public that new information showed Bigsby did request an attorney on Feb. 1 and that request was not honored.