VENTURA ( — Authorities say a retired Ventura County judge has killed his girlfriend and himself.

Herbert Curtis III, 69, shot Patricia Payne and then turned the gun on himself after a two-hour standoff with police Sunday night at his home in the 5500 block of Dorsey Street in Ventura.

Police say he shot himself as a SWAT team entered the home to rescue Payne, who died at a hospital of multiple gunshot wounds. She was 54.

Officers were sent to the scene after a neighbor reported the two were arguing.

Police say the motive remains under investigation.

Curtis was a prosecutor before being appointed in 1984 to the Ventura County Municipal Court, which he served as presiding judge in 1991. He was appointed to the county Superior Court in 1998 and retired in 2007.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. He obviously did not practise what he preached in court!! That must have been one h*ll of an argument!!

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