Judge McLarty victim of car accident

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Was second longest-serving Justice Court judge in Mississippi

The Lafayette County community is mourning the death of Judge Johnny Wayne McLarty. He passed away from injuries sustained in a one-car accident on University Ave., near James Food Center on Saturday, Dec. 9.

McLarty’s career as the Justice Court Judge  spanned over four decades, marking him as the second longest-serving judge in Mississippi. He was a member of the MS Justice Court Judges Association and the O.D. Smith Masonic Lodge #33. 

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In recognition of his service, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors named the Justice Court the “Judge Johnny Wayne McLarty Justice Building” in December 2019. 

The honor, proposed by Justice Court Judge Mickey Avent, highlighted McLarty’s dedication as a public official and community leader. 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the celebration, Avent remarked at the time, “He has made the judicial system better and Lafayette County better, simply by being ‘The Judge.’”

 Apart from his judicial duties,  McLarty was a beloved figure at Ole Miss sporting events, having been involved since the days of Archie Manning. His presence at the ticket gates, where he warmly greeted attendees by name, made him a familiar and cherished part of the Ole Miss experience.

A graduate of Oxford High School,  McLarty was deeply rooted in the community. He leaves behind two children, Chad McLarty and Deanna McLarty Massey, and his role as a family man was as significant as his professional achievements.

McLarty’s legacy extends beyond his official duties. His involvement in community activities, from sports to local events, made him a central figure in Oxford. His loss is felt deeply by those who knew him as more than a judge, but as a friend, mentor, and community icon.