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Celebration Held in Honor of Naming the Lafayette Justice Court Building After Judge McLarty

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved naming the court after McLarty in December 2019. Photo by Alyssa Schnugg.

Friends, family and colleagues finally got to celebrate the naming of the Lafayette County Justice Court building after Judge Johnny Wayne McLarty, known to most as “The Judge” on Tuesday.

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved naming the Justice Court the “Judge Johnny Wayne McLarty Justice Building,” in December 2019; however, just as the new sign was put up, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the celebration was put on hold.

McLarty’s fellow Justice Court Judge Mikey Avent submitted the request to name the building after McLarty who has served as a judge for the county for more than 40 years. He is the second-longest serving Justice Court judge in Mississippi.

The court building is part of the Lafayette County Business Complex located on F.D. Buddy East Parkway.

McLarty has not only served the county as a judge but has also been a coach and umpire for the Lafayette County Little League, a bus driver for the school district and an EMT.

From left: Lee McLarty, Austin McLarty, Caitlan McLarty, Alexis McLarty, April McLarty, Chad McLarty. Judge McClarty with great-grandson Myles McLarty, Deanna Jackson, Taylor Jackson and Bailey Jackson. Photo by Alyssa Schnugg.

McLarty said he’s proud to have his name on the new building.

“I’ve moved around a lot since being elected,” he said. “But this court, it is wonderful.”

For McLarty, meeting people from all over the county and from all walks of life has been the most fulfilling part of being a judge.

“I’ve met a lot of people during my time as judge,” he said. “Makes for some great stories.”

Dozens of people attended the celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. at the court Tuesday, enjoying hors d’oeuvres and cake and punch while sharing stories with McLarty and offering congratulations.

McLarty’s son, District 4 Supervisor Chad McLarty, said the county agreeing to name the building after his father meant the world to the McLarty family.

“He’s dedicated his life to this job,” Chad McLarty said of his father. “To be honored in such a way means a lot to us. My dad is a unique man and I hope I can be half the man he is.”

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