Investigation Underway in Tragic Death of Judge Tom Greenwell - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Investigation Underway in Tragic Death of Judge Tom Greenwell

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

A criminal investigation is currently underway regarding Monday's tragic death of 319th District Court Judge Tom Greenwell.

The investigation is being led by the Nueces County Sheriff's Department, and is focused on the timeline of events that led up to Greenwell's death.

"We've recovered some documentation to see if it has some baring on the death," said Captain William Edge of the Sheriff's Department.

The shooting took place over the lunch hour on Monday at the Nueces County Courthouse. A single shot was heard by a court employee on the eighth floor of the courthouse, but was apparently mistaken for something being dropped on the floor.

On Tuesday, a Sheriff's Department spokesperson told the media that their investigation will be looking at the judge's phone records.

"We know that the judge had come to the courthouse to do some work, sign some papers," Edge said. "We know that some phone calls were made. We've got his cell phone and we're going to analyze that."

Greenwell's body was discovered in his chambers by a cleaning crew almost six hours after the shot was heard. The gun was found near Greenwell's body. Authorities said that the judge did not leave a note, but did leave a handwritten last will and testament.

Having been the first Republican to be elected to a countywide office in Nueces County, Judge Greenwell clearly had bipartisan support. He was liked by those who worked with him, and admired by his colleagues as an upholder of the law.

Many of his friends and colleagues wanted to share their thoughts about Greenwell, but most did not want to appear on camera, preferring instead to remember the man they called "fair," "kind" and a "champion of the law."

"Judge Greenwell always had a smile on his face, and he was always a happy go lucky guy," 94th District Court Judge Bobby Galvan said.

While Greenwell's many colleagues considered him a friend, to fellow judges, he was a brother. Presiding Judge Bobby Galvan said the legal community is in shock, accepting that one of their own would be so grief stricken that he would take his own life.

Still, those who worked with Judge Greenwell remember him for being fair.

"Whether you're a family lawyer, civil lawyer, criminal lawyer, a prosecutor, Tom Greenwell was known to be a fair and above board to all groups of people," District Attorney Mark Skurka said. "All lawyers who appeared in front of him. All people who appear in front of him. So it's a terrible tragedy for all of us."

"He was one of the most knowledgeable judges I've ever practiced in front of. He was always on top of the law. I think he must have read it every day, and he just wanted to do the right thing. You know, he was fair to both sides. He listened to both sides and then he'd tell you why he did what he did. Ah, I'm going to miss him."

Details for Greenwell's funeral and memorial services are still being worked out. Kiii News will provide that information as soon as it becomes available, as well as any developments in the investigation into Greenwell's death.

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