February 12, 2005

Judge Found Dead in Park after Dispute

The Signal

Brandon Lowrey Signal Staff Writer

A local judge apparently killed himself in Towsley Canyon Park just a day after sheriff’s deputies swarmed his Valencia home, seized his guns and told him to drive away following a domestic dispute.
Lloyd Jeffrey Wiatt, 61, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, died at 3:30 p.m. Thursday from an apparent gunshot wound to the head, a coroner’s investigator said.
Wiatt was a judge at the Chatsworth Courthouse since 2003. Before that, he held office at the San Fernando Courthouse, where he had made some controversial rulings.
During and immediately following Wednesday’s domestic dispute, most neighbors in the 24500 block of Lorikeet Lane refused to comment on what they had seen or heard. Others called it a “standoff,” saying several emergency vehicles had been there for hours before Wiatt drove off. ...
In December 2002, Wiatt dismissed a former nun’s sexual abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the church conspired to cover up an alleged rape by a Roman Catholic priest.
“It appears that this lawsuit was filed to obtain publicity and not for any proper purpose,” Wiatt wrote in his four-page ruling.

Posted by kshaw at February 12, 2005 08:14 AM