- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A circuit judge in Mississippi is retiring after nearly 20 years of service.

WLBT-TV reports (https://bit.ly/2q1LXiW0 ) that Eighth Circuit Judge Vernon R. Cotten of Carthage will step down May 31. He announced his retirement on May 1, two weeks after he turned 80.

Cotten was appointed by Gov. Kirk Fordice in 1997, after serving as a municipal judge for 10 years and a special judge of the tribal court of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians for 23 years.

Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint a judge to the circuit, which includes Leake, Neshoba, Newton and Scott counties.

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