- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

WHITEHALL, Pa. (AP) - A coroner says a district judge found dead in his Pennsylvania home killed himself.

Police were called to Whitehall District Judge Robert Halal’s home about 2:30 p.m. Monday. He was officially pronounced dead shortly after 4 p.m. once Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim was called to the scene.

Grim ruled the death a suicide on Tuesday. Grim’s policy is to not release a cause of death in suicides, so it’s unclear how Halal died.

A district judge is the lowest level judge in Pennsylvania, much like a justice of the peace in other states. Then-Gov. Ed Rendell appointed Halal to the vacant judgeship in Whitehall Township in Coplay borough in 2007. Halal was re-elected to another six-year term in 2013.

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