LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Gene Reeves Jr., the attorney who represented Larry Flynt on obscenity charges and was seriously injured in the shooting that paralyzed the Hustler founder in 1978, has died.
Flynt told XBIZ today that "Gene Reeves was a good man who had the utmost respect for the law.”
“He was a dedicated advocate for his clients, and I will always cherish our friendship," Flynt said.
Reeves and Flynt were both shot while they were walking to the Lawrenceville, Ga., courthouse in March 1978.
At the time, Reeves was defending Flynt after Gwinnett County decided to press obscenity charges against him when a local market began distributing Hustler magazine.
When they were shot, Flynt fell face down on a concrete driveway while Reeves took a few steps before collapsing on the sidewalk, according to eyewitness accounts. Reeves had been struck in the arm and chest while Flynt had been hit twice in the abdomen.
Flynt was left in a wheelchair, while Reeves was in the hospital for a month recovering.
Joseph Paul Franklin, who confessed to shooting Flynt and Reeves, was convicted in a series of racially motivated murders and was executed in 2013 in Missouri.
Franklin said he was upset that Hustler published sexually explicit images of an interracial couple, and shot Flynt and Reeves.
After the shooting, Reeves later became a judge at the same courthouse in Lawrenceville outside of which he and Flynt were shot.
Reeves, who died at 85 on July 31, was appointed a magistrate judge for Gwinnett County in 1994 and retired in 2011.