Douglas County officials confirmed that 4th Judicial District Court Judge Mark Ashford was found dead in his office at the county courthouse Wednesday afternoon.
Ashford was the brother of former Congressman and State Senator Brad Ashford who says the family is still in shock after receiving the news.
“He cared about everybody the same way,” Ashford says about his brother. “He never really, of course never gave an indication of self-importance. He loved his family, loved the law and loved his friends.”
Ashford says the family does not yet know the cause of death. He says about ten years ago Mark had some heart issues but had been dealing with that successfully. It is not yet known if that contributed to his death.
Judge Ashford graduated from Creighton Law School and worked at the District Attorney’s office from 1980 to 1988. He was sworn into the District Court in 2000. He planned on retiring next year.
Brad Ashford says his brother’s greatest achievement was establishing and presiding over the newly formed veteran’s treatment court that focuses on a rehabilitative program. He also presided over adult and juvenile drug court.
Judge Ashford was 66.