Jackson County attorney dies after being taken off of life support

A fall put attorney Earl Denham in the hospital days after he was assaulted
Earl Denham is a well-known attorney on the Gulf Coast.
Earl Denham is a well-known attorney on the Gulf Coast.(Photo source:
Updated: Oct. 16, 2018 at 3:05 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - WLOX News Now just confirmed well-known Jackson County attorney Earl Denham has died after being taken off of life support around 1:45 p.m.

Earl Denham, who is based out of Ocean Springs, was recently reported in critical condition, according to his longtime friend Harvey Barton. Family members say Denham ended up in the hospital after taking a fall on his Jackson County property, hitting his head on an object and laying in a wooded section of the property until rescue teams could reach him.

The Ocean Springs lawyer “was an institution,” Barton said. “We stood back-to-back on the hospital case four years this month.”

Denham and Barton are widely known as two of the attorneys representing 200 Singing River Health System retirees in the fight over their pensions.

“It’s just all such a great shock to everybody for Earl to go out this way,” Barton said. “I’ve lost my wingman and my friend.”

Just days before falling, sheriff’s deputies were called to investigate an assault involving Denham. According to the sheriff’s report, the lawyer was punched by his girlfriend’s ex. Denham told authorities that he and his girlfriend were sitting on the balcony outside of her apartment when the man walked up and began a confrontation with them. The intoxicated man then hit Denham in the face, according to the sheriff’s report, which caused swelling above the lawyer’s eye. Denham told deputies that he did not require immediate medical attention at that time.

Barton tells WLOX that Denham did have a CAT scan on the same day of his attack, which didn’t indicate any further injuries. The fall happened a few days later while Denham was walking around his Ocean Springs property.

Barton previously told WLOX Denham’s condition did not look good because surgery is not an option. It’s unclear at this time if the assault had anything to do with Denham’s fall or his current condition.

The sheriff says no charges have been filed in the assault.

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