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Guy Earl Humphries, Jr.
Bilde Judge Humphries.jpg
Louisiana Ninth Judicial District Court Judge

In office
September 8, 1960 – December 31, 1981
Personal details
Born (1923-05-11)May 11, 1923
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, United States
Died March 20, 2010(2010-03-20) (aged 86)
Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ann Virginia Davis Humphries (married 1948–2008, her death)
Children Guy E. Humphries, III
Richard Davis Humphries
Ann Humphries Jacob
Alma mater Louisiana College
Louisiana State University Law Center
Occupation Judge
Attorney
Religion Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps
Rank Cryptanalyst
Battles/wars World War II
(1) As a judge, Humphries grew concerned over the fate of youthful offenders and joined with two friends, a Baptist minister and the Alexandria city judge, to establish the Renaissance Home for Youth in Rapides Parish.

(2) As his legal career ended, Humphries was falsely accused of corruption by former Alexandria Mayor Ed Karst.

Guy Earl Humphries, Jr. (May 11, 1923 – March 20, 2010), was a Ninth Judicial District Court judge in Alexandria, Louisiana, known also as a co-founder of the Renaissance Home for Youth, a criminal rehabilitation center in Rapides Parish. At the time of his death, Humphries had been retired from the bench eight years longer than the twenty-one years of his judicial tenure.

Early years, education and militaryEdit

Humphries was born in Shreveport in Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He was the second child and oldest boy of six children born to Guy E. Humphries, Sr., originally from El Dorado, Arkansas, and the former Hattie A. Sheppard of Pelahatchie in Rankin County in central Mississippi. His parents had previously lived near Delhi in Richland Parish in northeastern Louisiana. The family moved to the Bayou Rigollette community of Rapides Parish so that the senior Humphries could procure treatment at the Alexandria Veterans Administration Hospital for tuberculosis, which he probably contracted during World War I. After his father's death, Humphries and his siblings helped their mother in the operation of the family farm.[1]

Humphries graduated from Tioga High School in Ward 10 of Rapides Parish and thereafter accepted employment with the Union Pacific Railroad. During World War II, he served for more than three years in the United States Army Air Corps, the forerunner to the Air Force. Two of those years were in the Pacific Theater of operations. He was a radio control operator and cryptographer, having been honorably discharged as a tech sergeant.[1] Through access to the G.I. Bill of Rights, he subsequently obtained his pre-law education at Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville, north of the Red River in Rapides Parish. He graduated in 1951 with a Juris Doctor degree from Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge. HIs law school classmates were future U.S. Representative Gillis William Long, later District Attorney Ed Ware, and the subsequent 9th Judicial District Court colleague Lloyd George Teekell.[2] He was the vice-president of his law school senior class and earned the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Award.[1] In 1970, Humphries completed studies at the National College of State Trial Judges. He was affiliated with Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, the American Legion, the Masonic lodge, the Shriners, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was an avid golfer and outdoorsman, and also coached youth baseball.[1][3]

Legal careerEdit

A member of both the Louisiana and the Alexandria bar associations, Humphries practiced law in the former firm of Gravel, Humphries, Sheffield, and Mansour, with Camille F. Gravel, Jr., an advisor to several Louisiana, as the senior partner. Humphries became a judge, his only elected office, on September 8, 1960, and served until his retirement at the age of fifty-eight on December 31, 1981. He was elected four times.[1]

In 1972, he joined Alexandria Municipal Judge George M. Foote and Dr. Glenn Earl Bryant (1922–2003), then pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in downtown Alexandria, to establish the Renaissance Home, a haven for troubled youth in need of rehabilitation who otherwise could land in prison upon reaching adulthood. Robert J. "Bob" Tillie (born June 1944) of Pineville, the Renaissance founding executive director from 1973–2006, told the Alexandria Town Talk that Humphries was highly "supportive of a place for juveniles to have a second chance. He was very caring of kids in need."[4]

Humphries conducted the first pilot program in Louisiana for the use of cameras and recording equipment in the courtroom, having received the Margaret Dixon Freedom of Information Award, named for the former managing editor of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. He also spent six weeks in China studying that country's legal system.[1]

George Foote recalled his friend Humphries, who was 6'5", as a "decisive" judge who operated an "efficient courtroom". The Ninth District had two judges when Humphries began his tenure, but it has since expanded to six. Humphries was known for his toughness; some lawyers tried to avoid his court if their clients faced severe sentences.[4]

After he left the bench, Humphries said in a 1981 interview that the imposition of a sentence is "one of the most demanding tasks judges face. The facts of each crime are all different. I consider the facts of each crime, the defendant -- his background, his propensity for future crime or the possibility for rehabilitation, and the prime consideration is the public and the victim. [One] can hardly separate the (last) two because the victim is part of the public, and the public is a potential victim. . . . "[4]

In 1956, Humphries was an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention held in Chicago, Illinois, which nominated the Stevenson-Kefauver ticket, the first Democratic ticket to lose the Louisiana electoral vote since the disputed presidential election of 1876. Humphries' law partner Camille Gravel was a delegate to that same convention.[5]

In 1976, Humphries coined the term "Red River Delta" as the name of the law enforcement planning agency that includes eight Central Louisiana parishes, among them Rapides. The planning districts were originally established under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, signed into law in by then U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.[6] Late in his career, Humphries was falsely accused by former Alexandria Mayor Ed Karst of corruption. The allegation came after Humphries ruled against Karst in several lawsuits which pitted Karst against the Alexandria architect Joe Ernest Fryar, Jr. (born ca. 1932), in a dispute over public housing projects formerly known as "Karst Park". The bar association initiated disbarment proceedings against Karst on the grounds that his slurs against Judge Humphries constituted misconduct. In a hearing in 1981, Karst admitted that the allegations that he had hurled against Humphries were baseless. Karst failed to be reinstated to his law practice, as the Louisiana Supreme Court denied each appeal.[7][8]

Family and deathEdit

Humphries died of cancer in Alexandria at the age of eighty-six. In 1948, he married the former Ann Virginia Davis (May 24, 1925 – January 29, 2008), a sister of Wade Hall Davis, Sr. (1920–2003) of Alexandria.[9] Wade Davis was the former director of the Louisiana State School for Spastic Children in Alexandria. The facility treated spasticity, a disorder of the central nervous system.[10] In Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics, former Lieutenant Governor Bill Dodd places a picture on the last page of the book of Judge Humphries, Wade Davis, State Senator Cecil R. Blair, and U.S. Senator Russell B. Long posed in front of moss-laden trees.[11] Humphries is survived by two sons, Guy Humphries, III (born 1950), and wife Dana, of Woodworth in south Rapides Parish and Richard Davis Humphries (born 1955) and wife Laura of North Richland Hills, near Fort Worth, Texas, and a daughter, Ann Humphries Jacob (born 1962) and husband, Tom Jacob, of West Palm Beach, Florida; five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren.[1] Services were held on March 27 at the Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria. Humphries and his wife are interred at Alexandria Memorial Gardens near Woodworth.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Judge Guy E. Humphries, Jr.". thetowntalk.com. http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20100325/OBITUARIES/100324021/1023/Judge-Guy-E.-Humphries--Jr.-. Retrieved March 25, 2010. [dead link]
  2. "Louisiana State University Gumbo yearbook, 1951". e-yearbook.com. http://www.e-yearbook.com/yearbooks/lsu/1951/Page_127.html. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  3. "J. Cleveland Fruge, "Biographies of Louisiana Judges"". usgwarchives.org. http://files.usgwarchives.org/la/richland/bios/humbrich.txt. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Richard P. Sharkey, "Retired Judge Humphries, Co-founder of Renaissance Home, dies in Alexandria"". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, March 23, 2010. http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20100323/NEWS01/3230325/-1/NEWSFRONT2/Retired-Judge-Humphries-co-founder-of-Renaissance-Home-dies-in-Alexandria. Retrieved March 24, 2010. [dead link]
  5. "Index to Politicians: Humphreyville to Hunstein". politicalgraveyard.com. http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/humphries-hunsinger.html. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  6. "History of Red River Delta". rrdnw.com. http://www.rrdnw.com/History.htm. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  7. "Former candidate for governor Karst dies", Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, July 18, 1992, p. 9-C
  8. "Ex-Mayor Karst dies", The Town Talk, July 18–19, 1992
  9. "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  10. "Bill Dodd Inventory". library.nsula.edu. http://library.nsula.edu/assets/CGHRC_Finding/doddb.htm. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  11. Bill Dodd, Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics, (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Company, 1991)

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