Criminal Justice

Left for Dead After Law Office Attack, Former Judge is Still Unable to Talk to Investigators


A former judge who was savagely attacked and left for dead in his New Mexico law office 10 days ago is still hospitalized and unable to speak to investigators.

Tom Fitch, 68, was struck several times in the head with an unknown object. Maj. Daniel Lovato of the state police, which is handling the investigation, would not confirm reports that an ax was used in the attack, reports the Albuquerque Journal (sub. req.).

However, David Dotson, a law student and family friend who is interning at another Socorro law firm, said it is his understanding that the weapon was an ax or hatchet. Fitch’s wife, Polly Tausch, who found him after the attack, declined to comment, the newspaper reports.

“At this point, we’re looking into some theories, but the door is pretty much wide open,” said Lovato concerning the progress of the investigation. “We are looking at probation and parole lists. For all we know, it may have been someone he had interaction with as part of his law practice or while he was a sitting judge.”

Fitch’s civil practice focuses on matrimonial matters, wills and real estate. He left the bench in 2005 after almost a decade as a state district court judge in Catron, Sierra, Socorro and Torrance counties.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Ex-Judge Attacked in Law Office and Severely Injured”

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