Tags: judge | shot | death | chambers

Judge Shot to Death in Texas Courthouse Chambers; No Gun Found

Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 10:00 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Investigators are searching for leads after a Texas judge was found dead in his chambers Monday evening with a gunshot wound to the head.

A member of the cleaning crew at the Nueces County Courthouse found State District Judge Tom Greenwell's body around 7 p.m. Monday, two hours after the facility closed for the day.

No weapon was recovered and it's not yet clear whether the shooter may have smuggled the gun past security or if Greenwell perhaps had a concealed handgun license.

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Attorneys, judges, and some media representatives who have courthouse identification badges typically aren't required to pass through the security checkpoint and metal detectors, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.

Greenwell, a Republican, was elected judge of the 319th District Court in Nueces County in 2001, reelected in 2006, and ran unopposed in 2010.

He had graduated with honors from The University of Texas Law School in 1981. He started as staff attorney on the 13th Court of Appeals that same year and was chief of the court’s legal staff from 1991 to 1996. He was in private practice from 1997 until his election to the district court bench.

"It's a terrible, terrible loss," State District Judge Jose Longoria told the Caller-Times. "I can’t imagine why something like that would happen. It’s a very sad situation for the courthouse and everybody involved feels the same way… He’s a fantastic judge. That’s all there is to it."

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Greenwell had been preparing for a big murder trial, attorney Rene Flores told the Caller-Times.

"He was the epitome of a good judge, he seemed very calm and peaceful; it’s just really shocking," Flores said.

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