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'Hello Crimefighters...' Lexington Loses Former Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson

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A former Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney known as a fierce advocate for victims, and a lively local personality, has died. 

"Hello crimefighters. I'm Ray the D.A." 

That was the greeting from the unmistakable and unapologetic Ray Larson on many of his YouTube videos, which carried titles like "Straight Talk" and "The Whac-A-Mole Report."

A fixture in the Lexington legal community and beyond, Larson served more than three decades as a Fayette County’s commonwealth’s attorney, tackling some of the toughest cases in the city – often combining a no-nonsense tough-on-crime message with a colorful delivery. 

Ingrained in that folksy swagger was a kind of honesty Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton says not all public servants have – especially when talking directly with city leaders.

"He would always let you know where he stood, what his opinion was, and why he believed in it," Gorton says. 

And while Larson sometimes stood alone on those issues, in some areas he helped to chart a path. Take prosecuting DUIs as homicides.

"People used to be killed by a drunk driver and 'Oh gee, that was an accident,'" current Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn remembers. "And Ray led in the nation in making sure that those cases were prosecuted as felonies."

Larson went on to retire in 2016 at age 73.

He passed away on Sunday.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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