AP NEWS

Original member of Mississippi Court of Appeals dies

November 26, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — One of the original judges for the Mississippi Court of Appeals has died.

WLBT-TV reports Chief Judge Billy G. Bridges died Monday at his home in Brandon. He was 85.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon. Visitation will be Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Bridges served on the Court of Appeals for 11 years. He was elected in 1994, and the court began hearing cases in January 1995.

Bridges served as chief judge from Jan. 31, 1997, until Feb. 17, 1999. He was named presiding judge on April 30, 2004 and retired Dec. 31, 2005. But, he didn’t hang up his robe. He became a senior status judge and presided over cases in the trial courts for many more years.

“Billy was a very thorough and considered individual in his work,” recalled Supreme Court Justice Leslie D. King who served with bridges on the appellate court. “He took his time in looking very carefully at the matters before the court. He cared a great deal about his work and the people who came before the court. He was also concerned about the judiciary and the appearance of the judiciary to the public. Billy was a fine example of what you would want to see in a judge. He is someone whom I’m happy to have known as a colleague and a friend.”

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna Barnes of Tupelo also served with Bridges. “The vast experience he brought to Court of Appeals deliberations was truly remarkable,” she said.

Before his election to the Court of Appeals, Bridges served as a chancery judge in Rankin County. He was district attorney for the 20th Circuit Court District of Rankin and Madison counties, and Rankin County prosecuting attorney. He also served in other legal positions including board attorney for the Town of Florence, the Town of Pelahatchie, the Rankin Medical Center, and the Rankin County School Board.

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Information from: WLBT-TV, http://www.wlbt.com