LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Former Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson has died.
He held the position for nearly 32 years before retiring in 2016.
Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn made the announcement on Facebook Sunday.
In her post, Red Corn wrote:
Ray believed in the mission of a Commonwealth’s Attorney – to seek justice for victims, hold offenders accountable, and to make our community a safe place to live and raise our families. In many ways he helped develop this mission during the almost 40 years he served a prosecutor
Ray was a leader, he provided much of the vision and hard-work to make Lexington and all of Kentucky realize that driving drunk is a crime and that the victims of drunk drivers are entitled to receive help. Ray lifted up the victims of child sexual assault and was one of the founders of the Children's Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass. Ray was an inspiration to many in our community from teaching a Sunday School class for over 30 years to being a true influencer on social media. He publicly supported his staff and counselled each of his employees like a father. Ray was a prosecutor’s prosecutor and his legacy will live on through our community for a long time.
Please join me in praying for Ray’s family to be at peace with his sudden death and in thanking the Lord for providing us with a servant like Ray.
During his decades-long career, Larson prosecuted several high-profile cases, including the 1986 murder of Michael Turpin, who was targeted by his wife, Elizabeth Turpin, and killed by her girlfriend, Karen Brown, and another man, Keith Bouchard.
In addition to his work inside the courtroom, Larson had developed a reputation as an advocate for victims of crimes.
He helped found the Children's Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass in 1994, in an effort to protect and empower victims of child sexual assault.
"Ray always wanted to make sure that crime victims were treated with respect and the dignity that they deserved," Winn Stephens, the executive director of the center, said.
Stephens said he had last seen Larson a couple of weeks ago and said they had a "typical Ray Larson conversation."
"Ray had been sick," Stephens recounted. "So I just patted him on the shoulder and told him I was thinking about him and praying for him."
"And he said something to me," Stephens continued. "'You're the greatest,' and he slapped me on the back."
Prominent leaders across Kentucky also posted their own tributes to Larson.
Britainy and I are saddened to learn of the passing of former Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson. We lift his family, friends and the entire prosecutor community up in our prayers. ^ AB— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) August 1, 2021
Ray was a fierce advocate for justice, and during his decades-long service as a prosecutor he honorably served the Lexington community. Makenze and I send our prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues across the Commonwealth. https://t.co/yHUXBm9yKN— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) August 1, 2021
I am deeply saddened to learn of Ray Larson’s passing. Having served as Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney for nearly 32 years, Ray was a tireless advocate for victims’ rights. Please keep his family in your thoughts during this difficult time.— Mayor Linda Gorton (@MayorGorton) August 1, 2021
Ray Larson represented everything that was praiseworthy in a public servant. He was passionate and relentless. He fought for what he believed was right, especially for the victims of crime. He and his vigorous, passionate voice will be missed.— Jim Gray (@JimGrayLexKY) August 1, 2021