Judge George Greene dead at 63

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 1, 2014 

ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Newly-appointed Russell Circuit Judge Michael Bellamy, left, is sworn in by retiring Russell Circuit Judge George Greene at the Central Activities Center in Phenix City Tuesday. 12.10.13

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

Judge George Greene of Phenix City , who retired from his position as Russell County Circuit Court Judge in December, died early Wednesday morning at 63.

"He was a brilliant jurist and a great person," Russell County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bellamy said.

Striffler-Hamby Mortuary in Phenix City will be handling the funeral arrangements.

"He was very loyal to family and friends and dedicated to his work," Bellamy said.

Phenix City council member Jim Cannon called Greene a "pillar of the community."

"He cared very much about Phenix City," Cannon said.

Both Greene and Cannon are well-known historians of Phenix City.

"His interest was more in the Civil War eras. He has one of the greatest Civil War collections anywhere," Cannon said.

Greene, 63, has been battling medical issues for several years.

Greene has been a judge in Russell County since 1979, making him one of the longest serving judges in the state. He was a District Court judge until August 1998 when he was appointed to the Circuit Court bench.

Greene’s health has been an issue for years. It became a public issue in September 2012, when Greene could not continue during the capital murder trial of Lisa

Graham, a woman accused of hiring someone to kill her daughter.

Three days into testimony, Greene declared a mistrial, citing personal health issues.

Attorneys for Graham subsequently filed a motion to dismiss murder charges against Graham, because a retrial would constitute double jeopardy. That motion was denied by Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob A. Walker and upheld by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. The case is now headed to the Alabama Supreme Court. Greene’s health issues were at the center of a hearing Walker held on July 3.

Greene testified during the hearing that he had several health issues — including blurred vision, high blood pressure, gout, high cholesterol and diabetes — that complicated his ability to perform during the capital murder trial.

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