Security Bolstered For Dallas Judge After Attorney's Suspicious Death

There is concern for the safety of a Dallas judge following the death of a prominent Dallas attorney who once argued before the United States Supreme Court.

Ira Tobolowsky, 68, died in a house fire Friday morning. Dallas arson investigators called it a suspicious fire.

Sheriff's deputies began monitoring an increased threat level Sunday night for Dallas District Judge Eric Moye, who was friends with Tobolowsky.

Moye is a district judge at the George Allen Civil Courts building in downtown Dallas. In August 2015, NBC 5 reported that former President George W. Bush was called for Jury Duty in Moye's courtroom.

Moye has been a Dallas judge for eight years. Before that, he was a civil litigator for more than 25 years.

Moye knew Tobolowsky well. Tobolowsky had tried several cases in Moye's courtroom over the years, records show.

Tobolowsky is listed as one of the lead attorneys in an open civil litigation case in Moye's court, and is slated for a trial at the end of this year.

According to Facebook posts, Moye went to Tobolowsky's funeral this morning at a Dallas synagogue. In a post Moye wrote that Tobolowsky was a "great member of the Bar" and that he is "gone too soon."

Now the Judge is afraid for his own safety.

In a statement, a sheriff's department spokeswoman said:

"I can confirm that we are monitoring an increased threat level for Judge Eric Moye. After the suspicious death of attorney Ira Tobolowsky, Judge Moye was concerned for his safety. DSO felt this was a legitimate concern and have assigned deputies to patrol his residence until it isn't necessary…our bailiffs in his courtroom are also on alert."

Melinda Urbina, the Department spokeswoman, also noted Moye is presiding over a "high-profile" trial that has prompted safety concerns; but she did not elaborate about which case, and why.

Ira Tobolowsky was laid to rest Sunday afternoon, after a suspicious fire in his garage Friday morning. The flames then spread through the walls and into the attic.

Arson investigators are working on the case. No suspect has been identified.

Tobolowsky has several adult children. the family, grieving tonight, could not be reached for comment.

NBC 5 also tried reaching out to Tobolowsky's long-time law partner, Faith Burk. Her family did not want to comment at their Dallas home Sunday evening.

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