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Judge found dead in courthouse committed suicide

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PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Circuit Court Judge Nathan Curtis Lee, who was found dead in his office at the Prince George County Courthouse on New Year's Day, committed suicide, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Police had previously said no foul play was suspected in the 60-year-old judge's sudden death.

News of Judge Lee's death came as a shock to his friends as they returned to work Monday.

"Just awful to think he would be gone at such a young age and still so vital as a Jurist, as a Husband, a Father," George Eliades said.

"Distraught for him but shock, absolute shock for me, to the point that you didn't know how to react," friend and colleague Adrienne Eliades said Monday.

Lee, a 6th District Circuit Court judge, had practiced law in Virginia for over 30 years and was appointed as a Circuit Court Judge in 2012. Friends described him as the type of judge who worked hard at trying to make the right decision.

"He was competent, he was capable, he was always concerned with the right decision, the fair decision, not just what the law said, but what should be done in a case," George Eliades added.

Colleagues who spent time with Lee prior to his death said they did not pick up on any signs that something was amiss.

A memorial service for Judge Lee is scheduled for Friday, January 6 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Hopewell. Family will receive friends following the ceremony at the Hopewell Optimist Club located at 1400 Lynchburg Street in Hopewell.