Texas Judge Found Dead From Gunshot Wound in Courthouse

Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 12:57 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A Texas state district judge fatally shot himself in the head in an apparent suicide at his courthouse office in Corpus Christi Monday night, authorities say.

Tom Greenwell, a well-liked Republican jurist, was found dead in his eighth-floor chambers at the Nueces County Courthouse by a member of the cleaning staff.

A handgun was found next to Greenwell's body.

"He was the epitome of a good judge. He seemed very calm and peaceful. It's just really shocking," Rene Flores, an attorney who knew Greenwell, told caller.com.

Greenwell, 57, was elected judge of the 319th District Court in Nueces County in 2001, the first Republican there to win a countywide judicial race. He was re-elected in 2006 and ran unopposed in 2010.

"Tom was a fine district judge and he set the bar for all those who followed him," Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal told caller.com. "He will be missed. He was just a great person who got along with everyone. This is hard to understand."

Police were working to find a motive for the tragedy. Authorities did not say if a suicide note was found.

Normally, weapons are banned from the courthouse, but judges with concealed-handgun licenses are permitted to carry them.

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