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Recorders Court judge beaten, robbed in Jesup

Authorities arrest 45-year-old Bobby Rex Stribling

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Posted: June 27, 2007 9:39 a.m.
Updated: July 12, 2007 5:00 a.m.
JESUP, Ga. - A judge and former prosecutor was hospitalized after being severely beaten and robbed in his law office.

Jesup's Recorders Court judge, Glenn Thomas Jr., was alone in his office near City Hall on Monday when he was attacked.

Authorities arrested Bobby Rex Stribling, 45, at a Brunswick motel shortly after recovering Thomas' stolen pickup truck.

Thomas, 74, was brought to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where he was listed in critical condition Tuesday with severe head injuries, investigators said.

Stribling, who has 37 prior convictions, was arrested on an initial charge of auto theft but will also face charges of aggravated assault with intent to rob and robbery with a weapon, Wayne County Sheriff John Carter said.

"Right now, we don't know if revenge caused the assault on Judge Thomas and the robbery was an afterthought or if robbery was the only motive," Carter said.

Police also arrested Camron Thomas, 24, who was in Judge Thomas' truck when they found it. Camron Thomas _ who is not related to the judge _ has been charged with theft by receiving stolen property.

Glenn Thomas served as district attorney in the Brunswick circuit, which includes Glynn, Camden, Wayne, Appling and Jeff Davis counties, from 1966 to 1996, when he retired from office. He then went into private practice and took up the gavel as judge of Recorders Court in Jesup.

"This is just tragic. He's been like a father to me," said District Attorney Stephen Kelley, who was hired right out of law school by Thomas and succeeded him in office.

___

Information from: The Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com

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