Ronnie Gorton's arraignment
Judge Walkers arraigns Ronnie Gorton via video in March 2018.

Circuit Judge Joe H. Walker, 25th Judicial District has announced his retirement as of July 1. The 25th District consists of Tipton, Fayette, Hardeman, McNairy and Lauderdale counties.

Judge Walker notified Governor Bill Lee of his retirement.

“It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of rural West Tennessee for the past 30-plus years in the judiciary, as circuit judge and chancellor.


“I joined the Tennessee judiciary in 1982 when appointed by the governor as chancellor in the old 9th Chancery Division (Lauderdale, Tipton, Fayette, Hardeman, McNairy, Haywood, Crockett, Hardin and Chester counties) during an election contest. That position lasted 12 months.

An oil painting of Judge Walker by his wife, Danna Walker, and is hanging in the courthouse in Lauderdale County.

“In 1990 the citizens elected me as circuit judge for the 25th Judicial District (Lauderdale, Tipton, Fayette, Hardeman and McNairy counties).   I have been privileged to serve this district for over 30 years.”

Governor Lee responded:  “It is with mixed feelings that I receive and accept your letter of resignation effective July 1, 2021.  You have served our great state with distinction and honor.  I wish you many blessings in your life to come.”

For more information, an article is posted on the Administrative Office of Courts webpage at

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.