Tuesday April 23rd, 2024 10:57AM

Judge remains critical a week after beating at law office

By by The Associated Press
SAVANNAH - A 74-year-old judge remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday, a week after he was found severely beaten inside his law office in Jesup.<br> <br> Friends said Glenn Thomas Jr., a Recorders Court judge and attorney who also served 30 years as district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, has been unable to undergo surgery because of swelling in his brain.<br> <br> Jerry Hollis, a longtime friend, said he visits Thomas daily at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. He said the judge&#39;s condition hasn&#39;t changed for several days.<br> <br> ``He&#39;s on a respirator, in a medically induced coma,&#39;&#39; Hollis said.<br> <br> Thomas was found beaten and bloodied June 25 at his office desk. Authorities say a man struck him several times in the head with a blunt weapon, took his wallet and car keys and stole his pickup truck.<br> <br> Bobby Rex Stribling, 45, has been charged with aggravated battery in Thomas&#39; beating. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Stribling last Tuesday in Brunswick, where they found the judge&#39;s stolen truck.<br> <br> Wayne County Sheriff John Carter said last week that Stribling confessed to the crime, but authorities have given no motive.<br> <br> Stribling was released from prison in 2004 after serving eight years for burglary, theft and other charges prosecuted by Thomas&#39; office during his last year as district attorney.<br> <br> Stephen Kelley, the current district attorney for the Brunswick circuit that includes Wayne County, did not immediately return and phone call Monday.<br> <br> Bruce Palmer, another close friend of Thomas, said some of the swelling seemed to have gone down in the judge&#39;s face when Palmer visited his hospital room Sunday. But he said Thomas still had significant swelling to his brain.<br> <br> The night before he was beaten, Palmer said, Thomas gathered friends and family for a surprise birthday party for his wife, Ina.<br> <br> ``One day he&#39;s happy and jubilant and carrying on, and the next day he&#39;s in the emergency room,&#39;&#39; Palmer said.<br> <br> Thomas&#39; wife and their grown children have kept a vigil at the hospital for the past week.<br> <br> ``They have a lot of grit,&#39;&#39; Palmer said. ``They might be crying on the inside, but they don&#39;t show it on the outside.&#39;&#39;<br> <br> (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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