‘Outstanding’ Ocean Springs lawyer dies after being taken off life support, colleague says

Prominent Ocean Springs attorney Earl Denham died Tuesday after he was taken off life support.

He was pronounced dead at 1:45 p.m., his longtime friend and fellow attorney Harvey Barton said.

“He was an outstanding lawyer who was a fierce advocate for his clients and had unassailable integrity,” Barton said on his Facebook page. “Earl possessed an exceptional intellect and will be sorely missed by his friends and adversaries alike.”

Denham, 71, fell and hit his head during a walk with his daughter Thursday, Barton said.

The evening before, Denham was hit in the face during an alleged assault at the hands of his girlfriend’s ex, according to a report from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

According to Denham’s family, Barton said, his doctor performed a CAT scan on him after the assault that did not indicate any injury to the brain.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the assault that occurred Oct. 10 at Bridgewater Apartments in Jackson County.

Sheriff Mike Ezell said what started out an alleged assault investigation will continue.

“Originally, this was a misdemeanor assault case,” Ezell said Tuesday afternoon. “We have requested an autopsy. We will get the autopsy results and turn this over to a grand jury and see where it goes from there.”

The Sun Herald reached out to District Attorney Tony Lawrence as well.

“Earl was a long time member of the Jackson County Bar and will leave a long legacy of service to his many clients,” Lawrence said Tuesday. “His death is being investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the results of that investigation will be presented to the Jackson County grand jury.”

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0530, margar45