CORRECTION: On-air and in the video above we said the 19th District courthouse would be closed for a week. Only late Judge Christopher Dassau’s courtroom will be closed for a week.
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – 19th District Judge Christopher Dassau, 37, was found dead in his home Sunday after a wellness check.
“He was like a big teddy bear, you know real humble,” City of Baker Mayor Darnell Waites recalled. “He always seemed to be young but he had an old soul and everybody loved him and he was just a great friend.”
Judge Eboni Johnson-Rose was saddened to hear of the news, “Christopher was extremely patient, that was just his way, he took his time, he didn’t want to rush to judgment on anything and he really wanted the people of the community to know that he would listen and he would hear them.”
Dassau worked as the prosecutor for the City of Baker after graduating from Southern University Law Center. Judge Kirk Williams served as a mentor for Dassau.
“It was a pleasure working with a young man like that, you know he’s the kind of person you say,” said Williams. “‘You know, I would like for my son to emulate,’ relative to emulate, because of his dedication and his hard work and his intelligence.”
Dassau was recently elected as a 19th District Judge presiding over high-profile cases. Pastor Cedric Murphy served as his campaign manager and after being elected Murphy checked in with Dassau to see how he was taking to his newest elected position.
“He said, ‘Pastor, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God placed me here — right now and here — this is exactly where I am supposed to be,'” Murphy said. “He was happy with being a judge.”
Many close to Dassau said he had a bright future.
“I actually thought that he would be a perfect candidate to someday assume the position of a Supreme Court justice for the state of Louisiana and perhaps even further, even going on to the federal bench,” Williams said.
“Justice and fairness for everyone, that was his motto, period,” Murphy said. “He always stood for the underdog, and he felt like God had graced him and given him the position so he could be helpful to others.”
Dassau committed his life to serving the community on and off the bench. He volunteered for the Cajun Navy, spoke with the youth, and created a domestic violence program.
“I think he just did it because it was the right thing to do, not looking for anything in return, it just shows the mark of a dedicated servant, a dedicated person who wanted to give back and he did that,” Williams said.
Dassau will be missed by many in the community.
“If we can learn anything from him being here, that it doesn’t cost anything to treat people with respect and be kind to them,” said Waiters.