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Judge George 'Woody' Clarke, DNA expert dead at 61

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Judge George "Woody" Clarke, a DNA expert and trial lawyer who helped prosecute O.J. Simpson, died Tuesday. He was 61.

Clarke died after battling cancer for several months, according to U-T San Diego (http://bit.ly/PSJq2f).

Clarke spent 21 years working in the district attorney's office, where he handled a number of high profile cases. He was an early proponent of using DNA as a forensic tool.

“Beyond his many professional accomplishments, Woody stood out as a kind man who brought that genuine, caring spirit into every aspect of his life,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a statement. “He was truly one of the good guys and he will be missed by a great many people in the District Attorney's Office, the Superior Court, and the legal community here in San Diego and across the nation.”

Clarke became a nationally recognized expert who was called on by prosecutors across the country to assist in DNA cases, including O.J. Simpson's double-murder trial in the 1994 slaying of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman in Los Angeles.

In 2003, he was appointed to the San Diego Superior Court bench by Gov. Gray Davis.

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