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Motion Denied; Judge in Rocketdyne Trial to Stay

January 12, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

A motion to remove a federal judge in Riverside from the trial of two former Rocketdyne employees charged with environmental crimes was rejected Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips.

Defense attorneys made the motion after learning that U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Timlin once helped a key prosecution witness hire a lawyer to sue Rocketdyne.

The witness is the widow of a scientist killed in a 1994 explosion at Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Chatsworth.

Timlin is presiding over a case stemming from the same blast.

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