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Ex-judge who resigned after ethics probe dies by suicide

Updated January 23, 2023 - 9:02 am

Former Las Vegas judge Melanie Andress Tobiasson has died. She was 55.

Tobiasson, a Las Vegas native, died by suicide Friday around 2:35 p.m., the Clark County coroner’s office confirmed Saturday afternoon.

The coroner ruled Tobiasson died from a gunshot wound from suicide.

“She could be a wonderful person,” defense attorney Tom Pitaro said Friday. “She was happy, intelligent. She empathized with people.”

Pitaro said he met the former judge when she was a deputy district attorney.

“She cared about people. She liked people, and if what is said is true, it’s a tragedy,” he said.

Tobiasson’s tenure as a justice of the peace in Las Vegas Justice Court ended when she agreed to resign from the bench in April 2021 after facing several ethics charges.

In September 2020, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline alleged that Tobiasson became involved in a double murder investigation and was affiliated with an organized crime figure.

The commission alleged that Tobiasson violated Nevada’s Code of Judicial Conduct by abusing “the prestige of judicial office to advance” her personal interests.

Tobiasson was born in Las Vegas and graduated from Bishop Gorman High School. She was appointed to the Las Vegas Justice Court bench in 2009. Tobiasson worked in the Clark County district attorney’s office until 1999 when she became a justice of the peace pro tem.

Tobiasson received her law degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She became licensed to practice law in Nevada in 1993.

Las Vegas police could not provide any information on Tobiasson’s death.

No further information was available.

If you’re thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one, help is available 24/7 by calling or texting the Lifeline network at 988. Live chat is available at 988lifeline.org.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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