A local defense attorney who has practiced for many years in San Luis Obispo County, and who recently handled two high-profile murder cases, has died.
Thomas McCormick died Monday, according to lawyers and officials at the court. He was 55.
He formerly worked as a public defender and in recent years practiced privately. McCormick had complications from a surgery, according to those who knew him.
“He was a great lawyer,” said Matthew Guerrero, a public defender. “He was well-respected and well-liked. He was a genuine guy, a straight shooter. I’m shocked.”
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McCormick handled two of the county’s most publicized murder trials in recent years, including the trial against Kaylee Weisenberg of Paso Robles who was convicted of hitting and killing CHP Officer Brett Oswald in her car while under the influence of methamphetamine.
He also represented Kelsey Morasci, who was accused of fatally stabbing Paso Robles resident Everett Quaid.
Weisenberg and Morasci were convicted after lengthy trials.
In recent years, McCormick also represented a Grover Beach man, Randal Corvey, who was accused of attacking two local police officers, one of whom later shot him, while high on methamphetamine.
Jurors found Corvey not guilty of the most serious charge in the case, assault, and guilty of misdemeanors charged in the case, including simple assault and resisting arrest.
Corvey was released from the San Luis Obispo County Jail after 101⁄2 months behind bars following the verdict.
McCormick practiced law for 27 years. He attended Chico State University and went to law school at the University of San Francisco.
Many in the Public Defender’s Office are mourning McCormick’s death and are upset about the news.
McCormick also practiced in the Bakersfield area and then lived out of his office when he first came to San Luis Obispo County before establishing himself in his career, Guerrero said.