Judge Johnston Resigns

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Judge Robert Johnston, III confirmed to WTVM Tuesday he is stepping down as a Muscogee County Superior Court Judge due to health reasons.

At 62, Johnston has been battling severe arthritis for about three and a half years. He has visited the Mayo Clinic for the condition, which has forced him to walk with a cane.

"I just felt it was time to address the issue of health," Johnston said Tuesday night.

Johnston has served as a Superior Court Judge for 14 years.

He also served on the State Court bench for more than 13 years.

The news comes less than a week before Johnston is slated to oversee a DNA hearing for convicted killer Carlton Gary on Monday, February 22nd.

Chief Judge John Allen will decide if Judge Johnston will still oversee Gary's hearing, or if it will be passed to another Judge.

Johnston said Tuesday night that he is still hoping to serve as a Senior Judge on a part-time basis, but wants to focus on his health at this time.