A judge from the Georgia Court of Appeals was found dead on Saturday morning behind his home in Albany.
Stephen Goss, 60, died of a gunshot wound when the Albany police arrived at the Greenwood Drive home shortly after 8am. His body was found in a forest area.
According to a press release, there is no suspicion of crime.
The Albany Police Department asks for respect for the Goss family as the investigation continues. All means are used to determine the circumstances of his death, the agency said.
Goss was appointed Appellate Court in August 201
After news of his death, Governor Brian Kemp offered his support to the Goss family.
"Judge of the Court of Appeal, Stephen Goss, a Georgia native, a trusted lawyer and a man of integrity, will be sorely missed by countless people in our state and in our country," Kemp said in a tweet. "The Kemp family asks God to comfort their loved ones, friends and colleagues during this difficult time."
The Georgia Supreme Court, Harold D. Melton, has also made a statement of condolence.
"Judge Goss was a man who gave so much dignity and compassion to justice in this great state," he said. "He was a national figure known for her work on mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. His legacy is as great as our sense of loss. Our court and the judiciary of this state express our sincere condolences to the Goss family. "
In 2002, Goss founded the first state mental health and drug abuse tribunal in Dougherty County. According to his online biography, it was one of the early programs of its kind in the country.
The program will help individuals on probation or pending criminal charges, many of whom have a long history of drug abuse or mental illness. For the past decade, Dougherty County's program has been a mental health educational institution, one of only four in the nation.
Goss is a former chairman of the judges of the Council of Accountability Court in Georgia and has served on several state and national criminal tribunals.
He is survived by his wife Dee Goss, a middle school teacher of humanities. The couple has two daughters and a son.
We are working to learn more.
– Please send updates to AJC.com.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to the Atlanta Journal Constitution today.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reports and research to keep you up to date. Thank you for supporting genuine journalism.