Edward Bullard, a criminal trial judge in Santa Maria, died at his home Sunday morning. He was 59.
“Ed was the anchor of our Criminal Division and tried more serious felony cases back-to-back than any other trial judge that I can recall,” said Presiding Judge Arthur Garcia. “He never complained about anything. Not only was he an outstanding trial judge with both legal and common sense, but he was well liked by everyone who had the privilege of meeting him.”
Bullard was in the middle of a case in Santa Maria when he underwent heart surgery last week.
Bullard was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006. He worked as a California Highway Patrol officer for 11 years before practicing law. A graduate of the Santa Barbara College of Law, Bullard worked at the Ventura County Public Defender’s office before spending 17 years as a deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County.
“It is heart-wrenching to lose someone of Judge Bullard’s caliber,” said Gary Blair, the court’s executive officer. “He was a workhorse as a judge and a wonderful human being. We are greatly diminished by his loss.”
Bullard is survived by his wife, Sandy, and stepdaughter, Cindy. His position will be filled by an appointment from the governor’s office.