Gene Hamilton, who served as circuit judge for Boone and Callaway counties for decades, died Monday night.
Hamilton was 76 years old.
Hamilton was appointed Callaway County prosecutor after serving in the U.S. Army and was elected judge in 1982. He was a judge until his retirement in 2010.
On Oct. 18, 2000, Hamilton swore in Roger B. Wilson as governor of Missouri following the death of Mel Carnahan. Hamilton also presided over the nine-day murder trial of Ernest Lee Johnson in Boone County, which led to Johnson’s death penalty conviction.
Former Boone County judge Gary Oxenhandler told ABC 17 News that Hamilton was a “fine, well-respected judge.”
The 13th Judicial Circuit issued a news release about Hamilton’s death, including comments from Presiding Judge Kevin Crane.
“Judge Hamilton was a great Judge and a great person,” Crane said. “Judge Hamilton had a gift for poetry and a wonderful sense of humor. I learned a lot practicing in front of him and working with him.”
In a separate statement, local lawyer Hamp Ford praised the way Hamilton ran his courtroom.
“He was prepared, patient and pleasant to all who appeared before him,” Ford wrote. Hamilton had a “sincere interest” in fairness and justice, he wrote.