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Judicial conduct panel files complaint against former West Deptford judge

Filings charges Guy Killen failed to recuse from case involving son of former mayor who appointed him

By Nikita Biryukov, May 12 2021 3:39 pm

The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct filed a complaint against a West Deptford municipal judge Wednesday, charging he breached the judicial code by failing to recuse from a matter involving the son of the former mayor who backed his appointment.

The ACJC claims Municipal Court Judge Guy Killen acted improperly by failing to step back from an August 2020 case involving David Shields Jr., the son of former West Deptford Mayor David Shields Sr.

Killen issued a temporary restraining order and search warrant against the younger Shields after he allegedly got into a domestic dispute with his ex-wife and attempted to stop her and her children from leaving their home by blocking them in with his car.

The judge said he believed Shields Jr.’s relationship to the former mayor did not pose a conflict of interest because the elder Shields was no longer in office.

An officer dispatched to Shields’ home to execute the warrant in search of weapons was told it belonged to the elder Shields.

After being advised of the search, the former mayor called Killen and told him the only weapons in the home were in a large safe inaccessible to his son.

Following that conversation, the judge called the officer and told him he was verbally modifying the warrant, rescinding an order to seize all weapons, because the safe was inaccessible.

Killen resigned as West Deptford’s municipal judge last September and has been on a leave of absence from his Vineland judgeship since October.

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