Longtime San Bernardino judge, former prosecutor Brian D. Saunders dies




Brian David Saunders, a San Bernardino Superior Court judge of nearly 20 years and a former county prosecutor, died Tuesday at his home. He was 63.

Elected San Bernardino Superior Court judge in 1998, Saunders previously served as a county prosecutor for 12 years. He joined the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office on Feb. 18, 1986 as a member of its felony trial unit, district attorney spokesman Christopher Lee said in an e-mail.

As a county prosecutor, Saunders also worked in the career criminal prosecution unit and handled many significant cases, including the 1991 prosecution of former Adelanto police Chief Philip Genaway, charged with 36 felony counts of embezzlement, Lee said.

In a statement Thursday, District Attorney Mike Ramos called Saunders one of his mentors and someone he looked up to when he first started as a prosecutor at the office.

“He was an excellent prosecutor and judge who sought justice with ethics and integrity. He will truly be missed,” Ramos said.

Prior to joining the DA’s Office in 1986, Saunders served as a judge advocate general for the U.S. Navy.

As a San Bernardino Superior Court judge, Saunders presided over criminal, civil, juvenile and family law cases, as well as serving as a drug court judge. In 2010, he was re-elected to serve another six-year term on the bench.

“Saunders was a longtime friend and colleague in the DA’s Office and on the bench. He was well respected for his hard work and willingness to take on challenging…

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