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James Keller, Former Ky. Justice, Dies


Former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice James Keller has died in Lexington.

Tom Morton of Kerr Brothers Funeral Home in Lexington said Keller died Monday at Saint Joseph Hospital. Morton did not know the cause of death.

The 71-year-old jurist practiced law in Lexington after leaving the bench in 2005.

Then-Gov. Paul Patton appointed Keller to the Supreme Court in 1999. He won a full term in 2000.

Keller graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky. He spent 10 years in private practice, then served as master commissioner for Fayette County Circuit Court. He became a circuit judge in 1976, serving until 1999.

He joined the Lexington law firm of Gess Mattingly & Atchison in 2005.