First female judge in Shelby Co. dies at 70

First female judge in Shelby Co. dies at 70

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County's first female judge, Ann Pugh, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. She was 70 years old.

Judge Pugh is a native of Blytheville, Arkansas. She was a teacher before graduating with a law degree from then Memphis State Law School.

In 1978, former Mayor Wyeth Chandler appointed Pugh, a prosecutor at the time, to Memphis City Court.

Pugh was elected to the first of four terms on the General Sessions Criminal Court bench in 1982. After 32 years, Pugh retired in 2010.

Judge Pugh was chosen in the late 1990s to lead a specialized court to handle domestic violence cases. Former District Attorney Bill Dobbins said she was the right choice for the job.

All who stepped foot in Pugh's courtroom knew her as 'Queen Ann.' She was really tough when it came to proper procedure and demanded respect for both herself and the criminal justice system. Many prosecutors and lawyers alike learned that lesson.

A memorial service and funeral arrangements are in the works for Judge Pugh.

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