Hill Country County Judge Murdered Monday


GEORGETOWN, TX — Former Williamson County District Judge Burt Carnes and his wife, Susan, have been identified as the victims of a fatal shooting Monday, January 8th according to current Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell. 

According to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), deputies responded to a residence in the 300 block of County Road 317, located outside the city limits of Georgetown. Upon arrival, deputies encountered a man identified as Seth B. Carnes, 45, exiting the premises. Seth Carnes informed deputies that he had fatally shot his parents, later confirmed to be Burt and Susan.

Seth Carnes was immediately arrested and taken into custody by the WCSO. He has been charged with capital murder and is currently held without bond, as confirmed by the WCSO in a released statement.

Authorities disclosed that the fatal shooting stemmed from a disagreement that escalated, leading to the tragic deaths of Burt and Susan Carnes.

WCSO Commander John Foster expressed profound distress over the incident, especially given Burt Carnes' esteemed status as a retired District Judge, extending condolences to the affected friends and family in a released statement.

As of the latest information available, no attorney has been listed for Seth Carnes. Efforts to obtain a statement from legal representation by local media have been deined.

County Judge Gravell offered condolences, emphasizing Burt Carnes' legacy of service within the justice system and the community at large, mourning the tragic loss of both Burt and Susan.

Williamson County Court House

Williamson County Court House

Credit: Screen Grab from CBS Austin video)

Judge House and Murdered Scene

Judge House and Murdered Scene

Credit; screen (grab from CBS Austin video)

Seth Carnes Mug Shot

Seth Carnes Mug Shot

Credit: Williamson County Mug Shot)

The Carnes couple was highly regarded within the community, leaving many who knew them stunned by the alleged murders.

During his 24-year tenure on the bench, Burt Carnes served alongside current Congressman John Carter, who shared heartfelt sentiments and fond memories of the late judge. Carter praised Carnes' dedication to the law and expressed deep shock and sorrow over the tragic event.

Susan Carnes, a former school teacher in Williamson County, received condolences from the Taylor Independent School District, where she worked from 1986 to 1997. Additionally, the Georgetown Independent School District mourned Susan's sudden passing, acknowledging her employment in the district from August 2003 to May 2005, and offering sympathies to her family during this difficult time.

The investigation into the tragic shooting remains ongoing, with authorities continuing to gather information surrounding the heartbreaking incident.

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