A defense effort to remove Superior Court Judge John W. Ouderkirk from the Reginald O. Denny beating trial was denied Thursday.
The 2nd District Court of Appeal denied the request from attorney James R. Gillen after reviewing his petition for an order mandating that an Orange County judge disqualify Ouderkirk, appellate court officials said.
Defense attorneys sought Ouderkirk's removal in late April and early May, contending that the judge has a conflict of interest because his fiancee was once executive assistant to former Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner.
Reiner is scheduled to be a witness in a pretrial hearing on a defense allegation of discriminatory prosecution.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Theodore Millard denied the defense motions May 12.