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Retired Judge Bannon dies at 93

YOUNGSTOWN — Former Judge Charles J. Bannon, who served four terms on the Mahoning County Common Pleas bench, died Tuesday following complications from heart disease.

Bannon, 93, who retired in early 1999, continued to work as a visiting judge in Mahoning, Trumbull and Portage counties for the next decade.

Attorney Thomas Zena broke the news of Bannon’s passing during a Wednesday morning criminal case courtroom session presided over by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay.

Zena said Bannon had helped him early in his law career.

“He was one of the finest people I ever met. He helped me as a young lawyer and when I was a prosecutor in his court. He was very understanding, and he will be dearly missed.”

Bannon served 24 years on the common pleas court bench and was honored in 2009 with the unveiling of his portrait in the second-floor Mahoning County courtroom where he served.

He drew national attention in 1983 for sentencing then-Mahoning County sheriff and future U.S. Congressman James Traficant to jail for contempt of court for refusing to sign foreclosure papers in a high-profile case.

In 2008, the Ohio State Bar Association recognized him for 50 years of service.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Poland Chapel, 2726 Center Road (U.S. Route 224). A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Boardman. Calling hours will be held one hour prior to the Mass. Burial will take place in Calvary Cemetery at a later date.

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