Judge Charles L. Carnes, a former chief judge of the Fulton County State Court, has died. He was 86.
Carnes, who died Monday night, stepped down from the bench in 1998 after serving 17 years as the chief judge. Later that year the Fulton County Commission named the building where he worked the Charles L. Carnes Justice Center Building.
By the time he became a judge, Carnes was well-known locally. He’d been a state representative in the ’70s. His name was thrust into the national spotlight when he presided over the lawsuits filed by victims of the 1996 pipe bombing in Centennial Olympic Park.
After Carnes retired, he still worked part time for several years, but he spent a lot of time with his wife, Mary, at their Sandy Springs home.
“I call her the high judge and me the low judge,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2011.
Carnes used retirement to read history books that piqued his interest and to watch shows like “Law & Order” and “Matlock.” He said those programs, though fictional, brought back memories of his teenage years, when he only dreamed of being a lawyer.
“I’ve had my day in the sun,” he said.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his children and grandchildren. They include his daughter Julie E. Carnes, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
A funeral is planned for 1 p.m. Monday at H.M. Patterson, Spring Hill, which is also in charge of arrangements.
Coming Thursday: A look at the career of Judge Charles L. Carnes
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The light rain that moved back into metro Atlanta early Sunday was expected to intensify later in the day, and forecasters said heavy rain could cause minor flooding across north Georgia Sunday night through Tuesday.