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Ga. court bars troubled judge from bench

Associated Press / September 7, 2011

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ATLANTA - A Georgia judge who once pointed a gun at himself while at the courthouse, berated his boss in a bizarre televised rant, and admitted to regularly smoking marijuana was ousted from the bench for life by the state’s top court yesterday.

The Georgia Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion barred Catoosa County Magistrate Anthony Peters from ever holding another judicial office in Georgia, concluding he has done “nothing to show that he has any ability to live up to the high standard of conduct expected of members of the judiciary in Georgia.’’

Peters’s home phone number was disconnected, and his attorney Chris Townley did not return calls and e-mails yesterday seeking comment.

But Peters said during an April hearing that the violations took place during a “rough patch’’ in his life, and his attorney blamed his behavior on prescription drug abuse after his client was involved in a 2005 ATV accident.

Peters, who is not an attorney, was a detective for the county sheriff’s office for 10 years before he was appointed as a magistrate judge in 1997.

But his demeanor started changing after a difficult 2005, which began when his father committed suicide and grew worse after the ATV accident. The magistrate was taking heavy doses of pain medications by 2009 after surgeries didn’t ease the pain, his lawyer said.

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