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Jerry Lockett

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Lockett, Circuit Judge Jerry T. Circuit Judge Jerry Lockett died September the 10, 2013 at home. He is survived by his wife Ruth Knowles Lockett, and daughters Elizabeth Lockett Byrne and son-in-law Jason Byrne of Upper Marlboro, MD and Catherine Lockett of Tavares, FL and mother-in-law Virginia Knowles. He was predeceased by his parents Norwood and Ruth A. Lockett of Leesburg, FL. Judge Lockett is probably best remembered for his no nonsense approach in the courtroom and his desire to see justice done which earned him the nick name "Lock 'em up Lockett." Some of his more high profile cases were the seven first degree murder trials that he presided over, including the infamous "vampire murders", and the James Duckett case. Judge Lockett received his B.S. at the United States Naval Academy in 1963. He was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1963 - 1967. During this time he also went to the U.S. Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island in 1964 and served in Vietnam in 1966. He received his Law degree from the University of Florida in 1969 and his LL.M in law from Columbia Law School in 1974. Judge Lockett was the Chief Public Defender of the Fifth Judicial Circuit from 1981 - 1983, and in 1984 he was appointed to the bench and was a Circuit judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit from 1984 until 1989. He then resigned and became a partner in Lockett and Blair. In 1991 he was re-appointed as a circuit judge. He retired in 2003. He is the only circuit judge in Florida to be appointed as a circuit judge twice by two different governors. Judge Lockett was active in many organizations in Lake County. He was a founding member of the Leesburg Girls' Soccer Club and the Boys and Girls Club of Lake and Sumter Counties and received the Man and Youth Award in 1986. He was also a board member of the Silver Lake Country Club, a member of the noontime Leesburg Kiwanis, and Lake County Bar Association. Memorials can be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Lake and Sumter Counties, P.O. Box 491527, Leesburg, FL 34749-1527, The Leesburg Public Library, 100 East Main St., Leesburg, FL 34748, or the Children's Advocacy Center of Lake County, 300 South Canal St., Leesburg, FL 34748. A memorial service for the celebration of the life of Jerry Lockett will be at the Leesburg Boat Club, 31 Dozier Circle, Leesburg, FL on Friday, Sept. 20th from 6-8 PM. Online condolences may be left at www.beyersfuneralhome.com. Arrangements entrusted to Beyers Funeral Home, Leesburg, FL.
Published in the Orlando Sentinel from Sept. 13 to Sept. 14, 2013
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