Duval County Judge Saenz dies over weekend

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal

GEORGETOWN - Duval County Judge Gilbert Saenz  died on Saturday, Oct. 16 in Georgetown at the age of 44.

Duval County Judge Gilbert Saenz died from natural causes.

Justice of the Peace Josie Fernandez confirmed Saenz's death.

Duval County Sheriff Romeo Ramirez said Georgetown investigators called his department after two hikers found Saenz in distress. He confirmed Saenz was from the area and personally gave Saenz's family the death notification.

Georgetown investigators don't suspect foul play and an autopsy has been ordered.

Saenz was in Georgetown following a conference. Georgetown is 25 miles north of Austin.

Saenz was elected as county judge in 2019. He was a licensed criminal defense and personal injury lawyer for 19 years in Freer. He attended The University of Texas School of Law where he graduated in May 2002.

He was a Navy veteran and a member of the VFW Post 8931 in San Diego. He was also a lifetime member of America’s Last Patrol and a member of the Freer Rotary Club for nearly eight years.

According to the Texas Constitution and the local government code, the county commissioners will appoint someone as the interim county judge, said County Attorney Baldemar Gutierrez.

Gutierrez said the county commissioners have called for a special meeting on Thursday morning to discuss the appointment of an interim county judge.

The interim judge would serve until January 1, 2023. The next general election is on March 2, 2022, but may be postponed due to legislative session, according to Bobby Gonzalez, Duval County Elections Administrator.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.