Comanche County Judge speaks on retirement, career - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Comanche County Judge speaks on retirement, career

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – As Comanche County District Judge Mark Smith prepares to retire at the end of the month, he says he’ll most miss those who he works with at the courthouse.

"I'll miss the fellowship of the attorneys and my fellow judges,” Smith said. “Sometimes the actual proceedings and the nuts and bolts, I won't miss that, but I will miss the fellowships, I've got a lot of friends in the legal communities, not only here in Lawton, but around the state."

Smith is an Oklahoma native who moved to Lawton when he was six. He went through Lawton Public Schools before heading to Cameron University. He then went to Oklahoma State University for his bachelor's degree and Oklahoma City University for his law degree. Once he completed his education, he found his way back to Lawton, working in private practice before taking a position with the City of Lawton as the City Prosecutor and, ultimately, becoming City Judge.

"When I went to work for the city, I obviously thought about becoming the municipal judge and the natural progression, the more I was in that, I had my eyes on the district court bench and it was just something that just grew as a natural progression for me,” Smith said.

Then, in 1992, the district court came calling for Smith.

"It's been a fun ride, it's been a great ride. I've been honored and privileged and blessed, all those typical things you would say but for me, they are 100% true. To be able to serve in your community, it's been an honor,” Smith said.

For the past 25 years, Smith held that position, running unopposed for re-election six times and covering thousands of cases, including four death penalty cases.

"I always tell people the things that judges take home with them are the ones involving kids,” Smith said. “Those are the ones you lose sleep over, always worry if you've done the right things. Obviously, a judge does the best he can based on the facts that are presented to him and I've done that."

Smith said the staff at the courthouse in Oklahoma is among the best in the state and he knows everything will be in great hands as he leaves.

"I hope they think of me as a guy who was a team guy, everything I ever tried to do up here I just wanted to make sure it was done the right way,” Smith said.

Smith said he's looking forward to retirement so he can spend time with his family, travel, fish and get his golf game back to where it should be.

The public is invited to attend a retirement party for Judge Smith on Friday, January 20th. It will be at 3 p.m. at the Comanche County Courthouse.

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