MADISON, Miss.–Remembered as a selfless public servant, retired Circuit Judge William Coleman, 84, died Saturday after being sick for a while. The announcement came Monday from the state Supreme Court, where Chief Justice William Waller described Coleman as “truly dedicated”.
You might remember his name in the news most recently for presiding over last year’s special election trial in Hattiesburg, where Mayor Johnny DuPree and challenger Dave Ware battled it out in court, with DuPree finally prevailing in a new election.
It was this type of case that Coleman had been hearing in recent years, cases where local judges had to recuse themselves for one reason or another. Coleman retired from being a Hinds County judge 18 years ago.
“He was very unselfish in accepting appointments to cases long after his retirement, and did not hesitate to preside over cases that no other judge was willing to accept,” said Waller in a statement. “I commend his for so selflessly offering his services almost up to the time of his death. He was truly a dedicated public servant, a stalwart of justice and one who was always committed to the rule of law.”
Coleman served for 20 years as a circuit court judge of the Seventh Judicial District. Former Gov. Cliff Finch appointed him to the bench on Oct. 1, 1976. He was senior judge of the four-judge district at the time he retired on Dec. 31, 1996.