Only Judge in Tiny Mo. Town Dies in Plane Crash

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The only judge in a tiny Missouri town died in a private plane crash Monday. Re-elected days earlier to the part-time post he has held in Mountain Grove, Mo., for three decades, 63-year-old William “David” Relyea was in the cockpit of his personal plane when it crashed in Douglas County, reports the AP. His passenger survived the crash and called 911 for help.

“The town is in shock,” said Rick Outersky, Mountain Grove’s city administrator. “He was our municipal judge for 30 years, and he knew everybody.”

Until a new judge can be elected, the city mayor will name a temporary replacement to hear some 125 traffic violation and misdemeanor cases each month.

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