A Circuit Judge for the Tenth Judicial District, consisting of Ashley, Chicot, Drew, Desha and Bradley Counties, passed away last week. His friends, family, members of the community, and those he worked with say he will be missed.

“Judge Johnson was an excellent attorney and a wonderful man and judge. His family and the local court system will miss him greatly,” Frank Spain, chief deputy prosecutor, for the Tenth Judicial District said.

Judge Johnson was born on June 20, 1944 and died Sunday, Oct.  13. He graduated in 1962 from Jonesboro High School and was a member of the 1962 Hurricane’s State Basketball Championship team. Those who worked with him said he was a unique judge as he believed in second chances.

“He was rare in our profession, because he still saw the best in everyone, believed in people, and applauded their successes. It did not matter who you were or what you had done, he saw what you could or should do, or be, and encouraged you to aspire to that greater version of yourself that he envisioned,” Denise McMillan a practicing attorney in the Tenth Judicial District, who knew Judge Johnson well, said.

His case coordinator, Christy McDonald, said that he truly was a man who believed in second chances.

“For those blessed enough to have known him, we are the lucky ones,” McDonald said.

Johnson was elected to his second term as circuit judge in 2014 for a term expiring in 2020.

It is expected that Gov. Asa Hutchinson will appoint an interim to finish out his term, but no announcement has been made at this time.

His family suggested that memorials be to EXODUS.LIFE which those who knew him said was “very fitting.”

Exodus Life is a program for incarcerated individuals seeking a second chance.

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