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Longtime Petersburg judge who ‘took no mess in the courtroom’ found dead

PETERSBURG, Va. – Police are conducting a death investigation after a longtime Petersburg judge was found dead Friday night.

Officers said a friend discovered the body of Judge James D’Alton inside his Westover Avenue home and called 911 just after 9 p.m.

D’Alton sat on the bench in both Petersburg General District and Circuit courts. While the 75-year-old was retired, he continued to serve as a substitute judge.

Former Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Cassandra Conover told WTVR CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil she was devastated to learn of D’Alton's passing.

Conover remembered D’Alton as a judge who was very attentive to detail and had high expectations for the lawyers who came before him.

D’Alton was "wise and took no mess in the courtroom," Conover said.

D’Alton’s body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond to determine his cause of death.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.

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