The Commercial Appeal

Attorney tapped for Criminal Court judge

Wright takes Higgs’ seat on bench

- By Lawrence Buser

Memphis attorney Glenn Wright was appointed Thursday to the vacancy created in February by the death of longtime Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs Jr.

The appointmen­t was made by Gov. Bill Haslam, who had considered Wright and two other candidates recommende­d to by the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission.

Wright, 57, has been a public defender, a state prosecutor and a private practice attorney. He has served as a special judge in both General Sessions Criminal Court and Criminal Court.

He has both prosecuted and defended capital murder cases.

In 2010 Wright was an unsuccessf­ul candidate for Criminal Court Division Three.

He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Memphis law school.

Higgs, 75, had been on the Division 2 bench since 1998 and before that he served in Criminal Court Division 4 from 1970 to 1975.

He also was an ordained minister, a civil-rights leader, ran for city mayor three times and served briefly as Shelby County’s only black sheriff.

Higgs collapsed and died at home on Feb. 15 after becoming ill while on the bench at 201 Poplar.

The other two finalists for the appointmen­t were state prosecutor Garland Erguden and federal prosecutor Dean DeCandia.

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