Judge Burt Carnes, wife Susan found dead: What we know about the Williamson County incident

Judge Burt Carnes, wife Susan
Judge Burt Carnes, wife Susan

Former District Judge Burt Carnes and his wife, Susan, were confirmed as the victims of a double homicide in Williamson County, as confirmed by Sheriff Mike Gleason to the American-Statesman.

Their son, Seth Carnes, has been charged in connection with their deaths and is now held in the Williamson County jail.

What we know

The couple were found dead with gunshot wounds late Monday night at their residence outside the Georgetown city limits, the Williamson County sheriff’s office confirmed in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The social media post said someone reported a shooting at 11:45 p.m. Monday in the 300 block of County Road 317, about 5 miles west of Interstate 35, near the town of Walburg.

The sheriff’s office said it is actively investigating the case and has advised people to avoid the area, but has determined there is no threat to public safety.

Who was Judge Burt Carnes?

Judge Burt Carnes son, Seth Carnes
Judge Burt Carnes son, Seth Carnes

Burt Carnes was a judge for District 368 in Williamson County, Texas.

He was appointed to the court by former Governor Bill Clements and served as a judge from September 1, 1989 until his retirement on October 31, 2013.

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Carnes was succeeded by Rick J. Kennon.

Carnes received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Texas in 1972 and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1976.

Before he became a judge, Carnes worked as an attorney in private practice in Taylor, Texas.

He also previously served as a district attorney for Dallas and Travis counties.

His wife Susan was a retired elementary school teacher.

A son of law enforcement

The son of an FBI agent, Carnes was descended from a long line of Texan law enforcers, including a Texas Ranger, a Border Patrol agent and a Wilson County sheriff.

Carnes, noted for his stern attitude, retired from the 368th District Court in 2013, after 24 years on the bench; reelected six times in that period, he held one of the longest tenures in county history. At the time of his retirement, Carnes told the American-Statesman he had decided to be a judge instead of a politician, saying a judge must “follow the law and within the bounds of the law do what you think is right.”

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