CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Mark Woerner is a county court-at-law judge in Nueces County who, during the course of his job, handles everything from criminal misdemeanors to civil lawsuits. He also happens to be pretty handy with a six-shooter.
Outside of George West he's he's known as Dutch Diablo -- a six-gun shootin' cowboy from the days of the Old West. But in Nueces County Court at Law #4, he's simply accepted as Judge Mark Woerner, a mild mannered judge.
"He runs an efficient court. He understands law very well. He has a very even temperament," Defense Attorney Luis Reyna said.
While Judge Woerner certainly has a passion for the legal profession he does love his hobbies outside the courtroom. In his judge's chambers he showed 3News all of his big game trophies and the pictures of his African safari's he keeps on the wall. He has bagged a lion, zebra and everything in between.
"As a defense attorney in solo practice I didn't make enough money to go to Africa," Woerner said. "I just kept re-financing my house all the time. Not the most responsible decision but I don't regret it. I would do it again."
The judge said he had tried other hobbies but he just seemed to be drawn to guns.
"Played golf but turns out I'm a lot better shooter than I am a golfer," Woerner said. "I'd say my golfing abilities were very minimal."
His love of guns led him to join the Texas Riviera Pistoleros. It's a cowboy action shooting club based in George West on a ranch off Highway 37. There's no quick draw competitions -- instead precision is the name of the game.
"I've always found the Old West fascinating," Woerner said. "I've been to the OK Corral and places like that when I've traveled out west."
"When you point the gun at something your nerves have to be steady," Woerner said. "That's something Wyatt Earp pointed out. He wasn't the fastest gunfighter in the old west."
But like Woerner, Earp had a dead aim and didn't miss -- a skill that kept him alive and keeps Dutch Diablo at the top of his game.
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