Texas Judge Dies in Chambers

PHOTO: Judge Found Shot in Chambers

A South Texas judge was found dead in his own chambers Monday night of an apparent gunshot wound to the head, authorities said today.

They do not suspect foul play.

State District Judge Tom Greenwell's body was discovered by a cleaning crew in his Corpus Christi office on the eighth floor of the Nueces County Courthouse Monday evening, investigators said. A gun was discovered near the body.

"A weapon has been recovered," Capt. Monica Rios of the Nueces County Sheriff's Office said. "We do not suspect foul play at this time."

She declined to comment on whether officials found a note.

The sheriff's office said it is working with the medical examiner to determine exactly what transpired in Greenwell's chambers but would not comment further on the investigation.

"It's a shock to me, even beyond shock," Greenwell's campaign manager and friend Alfred Hinojosa told ABC News affiliate KIII-TV. "This gentleman was the most loving and caring and wisest man I've ever met, very steady in his dealings and his equal justice attitude and I would never ever imagined that this man could have done anything to himself."

Hinojosa said Greenwell, 56, had just returned from vacation and given no indication that he was depressed or suicidal. "That definitely was not in his character," Hinojosa told KIII, adding that Greenwell was "very stable, very wise, very strong in conviction."

Hinojosa said he had spoken to Greenwell as recently as Saturday and that the two discussed kicking off Greenwell's campaign for a fourth term as district judge.

Greenwell was initially elected district judge in 2001, becoming the first Republican to win a countywide race for judicial office in Nueces County.

He was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2010 after running unopposed that year.

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