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Beaten Jesup judge dies

Motive thought to be revenge

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POSTED: July 25, 2007 5:02 a.m.

SAVANNAH ‑ A 74-year-old judge died Monday from head injuries he suffered during a severe beating two weeks ago at his law office in Jesup.

Glenn Thomas Jr., a Recorders Court judge and attorney who served 30 years as district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, died at Memorial Health University Medicial Center in Savannah.

Authorities said murder charges would be filed against Bobby Rex Stribling, who had been jailed since the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested him in connection with Thomas' beating June 25.

"We have obtained a murder warrant for Bobby Stribling," said Mike McDaniel, special agent in charge of the GBI's Kingsland office. He said Thomas "did pass away as a result of his injuries."

Investigators say Stribling, 45, attacked the judge in his law office, beating Thomas several times in the head with a blunt weapon before taking his wallet and car key and stealing his pickup truck.

The GBI arrested Stribling the next day in Brunswick, where authorities also found the judge's stolen truck.

Wayne County Sheriff John Carter has said Stribling confessed to beating the judge, but authorities have given no motive.

Stribling was released from prison in 2004 after serving eight years for burglary, theft and other charges prosecuted by Thomas' office during his last year as district attorney.

Stephen Kelley, the current district attorney for the Brunswick circuit that includes Wayne County, said he had visited Thomas at the hospital Friday and "the situation looked grim."

"With Glenn being a mentor, my boss and a friend, obviously I held out hope," Kelley said. "He was a very statesman-like attorney. He made everyone feel like they were his best friend."

Kelley was hired as an assistant prosecutor by Thomas and succeeded him as district attorney in 1997 after Thomas retired.

Authorities have declined to say if they think Stribling sought revenge against Thomas for his 1996 conviction.

But Kelley said Thomas would not have tried the case personally, but rather would have let one of his assistant prosecutors handle it.

 

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