Local News

Durham District Court judge retires

Posted May 5, 2008 3:32 p.m. EDT

— A Durham County district court judge who called on state lawmakers in March to pass anti-gang legislation retired Friday, his office said.

During a March bond hearing for a 17-year-old murder suspect charged in the shooting death of a Duke University graduate student, Judge Craig Brown asked for a special session of the General Assembly to approve anti-gang bills as soon as possible.

"We absolutely, positively need to have anti-gang legislation passed by the General Assembly," Brown said during the March 14 hearing. "I'm sending an SOS to Raleigh. I expect them to hear it."

The comments followed the high-profile shooting deaths of Duke's Abhijit Mahato in January and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's student body president, Eve Carson, in March.

Police have not said whether the cases were gang-related but were not treating either of them as so at the time.

Brown was appointed to the bench in 1996 and was re-elected in 1998, 2002 and 2006, according to the North Carolina Court System's Web site. Prior to serving the District Court bench, Brown practiced privately for 13 years.