Former judge disbarred for handling of murder case

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Supreme Court is disbarring a former judge who got involved in a relationship with a prosecutor.

The court on Thursday took away the law license of former Broward County Circuit Judge Ana Gardiner. The high court said the severe sanction was appropriate because Gardiner's actions resulted in a new trial in a murder case.

During the 2007 trial, prosecutor Howard Scheinberg and Gardiner began a secret personal relationship and exchanged repeated phone calls and texts. Gardiner was presiding over the trial.

Omar Loureiro was convicted of first-degree murder, and Gardiner sentenced him to death. The conviction was thrown out after her relationship with Scheinberg was disclosed. Loureiro was convicted after a second trial and sentenced to life in prison.

Gardiner resigned from the bench in 2010.