District Judge Robert Orlik dies at 64

CNJ staff

District Judge Robert Orlik, who first practiced law in New Mexico in 1977, died Saturday night at the Lubbock Heart Hospital. He was 64. Further information about the cause of death was unavailable at press time.

Orlik had served nearly six years as the fourth judge for the 9th Judicial District, which covers Curry and Roosevelt counties. He was appointed to the judgeship by Gov. Bill Richardson in July 2005, then was retained in the 2008 election.

He had spent 27 years in private practice before his appointment, in addition to two years in the district’s public defender’s office in 1977 and 1978.

“It’s just very sobering to grasp,” Orlik said when he was appointed, “but I think the opportunity to provide service to a greater (number of) members of the community is a great opportunity, and I certainly look forward to it.”

Orlik, who served as a judge advocate general for the U.S. Air Force, graduated from Rutgers University School of Law in Camden, N.J.

Trials he presided over during his judgeship included the conviction of Anthony Casillas in the 2008 shooting deaths of Gary Payne and Melissa Ward and the second-degree murder conviction of Lorenzo Chavez in the 1998 shooting death of Daniel Jose Lopez.

Services are pending with Muffley Funeral Home.