First District Judge Thomas Willmore announces retirement

Judge Thomas L. Willmore presides over the arraignment of Jayzon Decker and Colter Peterson in 1st District Court on Thursday in Logan. Decker and Peterson are charged with attempted aggravated murder in the shooting of Deserae Turner.

LOGAN — After spending more than two decades on the bench and serving as the associate presiding judge in northern Utah, Judge Thomas L. Willmore has announced his retirement. He reportedly submitted his notice last week to Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant and Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

Utah State Court Communications Director Geoffrey Fattah confirmed that Judge Willmore will step off the bench February 16, 2020. His replacement will likely be announced in the beginning of the year, following a nomination process.

Presiding Judge Thomas Willmore conducting the ceremonial administration of the Oath of Office for Judge Kirk Morgan.

Judge Willmore was appointed to the First District Court in January 1999 by Governor Michael O. Leavitt. He has presided over several high-profile cases, including the murder trial for Heidi M. Rutchey, who was found guilty but mentally ill of killing her young son.

Judge Willmore graduated from Utah State University and received his law degree from the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Before his appointment, he practiced law with Olson & Hoggan Law Firm.

Judge Willmore publicly announced his retirement in court Monday morning. Although he joked that few people would actually miss him, his absence from the bench will be greatly felt.

During the past 20 years, Judge Willmore has overseen cases in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties. He has served as the presiding judge since 2006, while previously being the chair and member of the Board of District Court Judges from 2001-2006. He also was a part of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure, and member of the Utah Access to Justice Council.

Judge Willmore established and presides over the First District Drug Court in Logan and Brigham City. He has been a strong proponent within the judiciary of drug rehabilitation and other judicial intervention programs for those struggling with substance abuse.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Michelle Zook September 26, 2019 at 10:27 pm Reply

    I will really miss Judge Wilmore. He is the best and awesome judge I’ve ever ment. But also happy to hear that he put in a retirement plan. CONGRATS to Judge Wilmore.

  • Mandy September 27, 2019 at 5:08 am Reply

    Good luck judge willmore. Your a great and compassionate man that truly cares about people.

  • Safe September 27, 2019 at 10:11 am Reply

    This makes me sad as he was the only judge to give consequence in a domestic abuse case – the commissioner was absolutely disgusting in her handling of it. Hopefully a compassionate DV advocate steps in his place.

  • Steve thompson September 29, 2019 at 10:15 am Reply

    Thank you judge willmore for being so willing to try and change people with addiction you have really made a impact in my life and i want to say thanks and good Luck and enjoy your retirement thanks so much steve thompson

  • Jennifer Nelson November 3, 2019 at 1:33 am Reply

    Even though you scare the crap out of me I have a lot of respect and admiration for you. You will surely be missed. You are fair and honest man. Good luck to you and enjoy your retirement!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.