D.C. Superior Court Judge Richter announces retirement after 30 years on the bench

One of D.C. Superior Court’s longest-sitting judges, Robert I. Richter, has announced that he will be retiring after 30 years on the bench.

Richter has presided over some of the District’s most horrific cases, including the 2003 triple murder at the Colonel Brooks’ Tavern in Brookland, the 2004 fatal shooting of a Ballou High School student by a classmate and the 2012 brutal attack and robbery of a Capitol Hill man near Eastern Market.

Richter, 66, was appointed in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan after working as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In 2009, when Eric H. Holder Jr. was sworn in as attorney general, Richter — Holder’s former supervisor when they were prosecutors — administered the oath.

Upon his retirement on Oct. 2, Richter will become only the fourth judge to have sat on the D.C. bench for 30 years or more, a court spokeswoman said.

Richter’s retirement opens a coveted position, which will likely result in numerous applications from Washington lawyers and magistrates. Candidates can apply with the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission, which will select the nominees to be sent to the president. The commission will accept applications through May 16.

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Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.
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