Judge Who Committed Suicide In Courtroom Had Heavy Debt

CORPUS CHRISTI (July 21, 2013)—State District Judge Tom Greenwell was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt when he shot and killed himself in his chambers at the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, investigators say.

Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin said financial documents found in Greenwell's chambers showed he had exhausted the spending limits on five credit cards and had taken out loans.

Investigators are awaiting court approval before delving more deeply into Greenwell's finances.

Kaelin said Greenwell, who killed himself Monday, didn't live lavishly on his salary of at least $140,000 a year and that his property can't account for the size of the judge's debts.

Investigators are looking to rule out such possibilities as extortion and blackmail.