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Former Las Vegas Prosecutor Lisa Willardson Dead at 45 | News

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Former Las Vegas Prosecutor Lisa Willardson Dead at 45
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Lisa Willardson/File Photo

LAS VEGAS -- A former prosecutor in Las Vegas was pronounced dead hours after a judicial discipline commission ruled her judge boyfriend committed misconduct by presiding over her cases.

Clark County coroner's officials say 45-year-old Lisa Ann Willardson was pronounced dead a little before 7 p.m. Thursday.

Willardson was found in the bathroom of her Henderson home by boyfriend Clark County Family Court Judge Steven Jones, who had just returned from a vacation, officials said. Her cause and manner of death have not been released.

According to the Clark County Coroner's Office, there are no signs of foul play at this time. A cause of death is not expected until the toxicology tests are finished, which could take several weeks.

Friends tell 8 News NOW she was depressed over Christmas but seemed to be upbeat for the New Year.

Johnny Jackson is a longtime friend of Willardson and ran her new campaign for family court judge.

He recalled her last words about Judge Jones the day before she died.

"She said, 'I love Jonnie [her nickname for Jones] so much. He is a hard worker. I'm so glad he is helping us on this campaign. I think we'll win this.' It kind of hit me right here today. I wasn't expecting that. It was the last thing she said." Jackson said.

Judge Jones, through his attorney, said he is devastated by the death of Willardson.  He has declined any further comment, requesting privacy at this time.

Friends add they knew Willardson had problems sleeping and previously took medication.

Willardson's death came the day a state panel handed down a ruling critical of Judge Jones. The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline ruled that he violated judicial codes of conduct by presiding over cases handled by Willardson while they were dating.

Jones was suspended from the bench last November after being indicted by a federal grand jury on fraud charges.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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