Local circuit court judge found dead

By Michael Campbell – News Editor

PRINCE GEORGE – Authorities continue to investigate what led to the sudden death of a well-known and respected Virginia Circuit Court judge.

According to Prince George Police, during the evening hours of New Years Day, police, along with fire and emergency crews were called to the Prince George Courthouse for a report of an unresponsive male.

When they arrived, they found 60-year-old Judge Nathan C. Lee deceased in his office.

Lee served as a judge in Virginia’s Sixth Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Brunswick, Greenville, Hopewell, Prince George, Sussex and Surry circuit courts, since 2012, when he was appointed by then-Governor Bob McDonnell who, at that time of the appointment, praised Lee for his excellence on the bench.

Nathan Lee – Photo: J.T. Morriss

“Nathan has had a long legal career handling a broad array of both civil and criminal cases,” McDonnell said of Lee in a 2012 statement. “He has been active in his community and with the Bar. This experience, as well as his experience as a substitute judge, make him well-suited for the Circuit Court bench.”

Sussex Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Williams spoke highly of Lee and said he and his staff were stunned and saddened by the news of the judge’s passing after having just saw Lee at a function days before his death.

“I worked very well with him,” Williams remarked. “He was a very dutiful judge and a friend to me.”

Lee, a native of Hopewell, practiced law in Virginia for over 30 years. He started his legal career with a small firm and has run a private practice for over 15 years.

Before his appointment, he served as a substitute judge for nearly two years.

Lee was a graduate of James Madison University and the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in Georgia, one of the state’s oldest universities.

“He was an excellent judge,” Williams said. “He wasn’t one of these judges who snapped to a decision without investigating his decision first. Lee was very cautious about his decision-making.”

“All I can simply say now is that I am very distressed by his passing. It feels like I have lost a true friend,” Williams closed.

According to Prince George Police, the investigation is in its early stages, but, they said in a statement, “foul play is not expected.”

Funeral arrangements have not been announced as of press time.

Lee leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Copyright 2017 by Womack Publications

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