Former Boyle County Attorney Lynne Dean dies 

Published 8:27 am Thursday, June 18, 2020

Former Boyle County Attorney Lynne Dean, 46, died on Tuesday, June 16. For nine years, Dean was assistant county attorney and was appointed to the office to fulfill the term of Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell when he retired in March of 2017.

Dean had also been Junction City and Perryville city attorney, and represented the Lake Village Water Company before being appointed to the office of county attorney.

In 2018, Dean ran against Chris Herron for the position but lost to him by a narrow margin in the November 2018 general election.

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“She learned early on that being a prosecutor doesn’t mean how many victories you can chalk up,” Campbell said. “It’s to make sure that justice is done.”

In family court, Campbell said that Dean “really cared about those kids. She was sort of possessive of what she did in family court,” he added.

If she couldn’t attend a family court hearing and Campbell represented her cases, Dean insinuated to him, “These are my cases. Don’t mess them up,” Campbell recalled with a chuckle. “She would become so involved with these families.”

In criminal court, “she was a tough litigator. She didn’t back down. Defense attorneys will tell you that,” Campbell said.

“She was a battler in the courtroom. She was a battler in life,” with her disease, he added.

Even though she was a tough criminal prosecutor, she cared deeply about the defendants,” Campbell said, “but some of them didn’t think so.”

Sometimes she fought to keep a person in jail, not because she just wanted to lock them up, Campbell explained. “But it was because she thought they would die from an overdose before they could get into a treatment program.”

Roger Fox is one of the defendants Dean prosecuted in Boyle Circuit Court on drug charges, and he said, “I respected Lynne.”

“She was firm but also compassionate and had a caring side,” Fox said.

Eventually, Fox kicked his drug habit and returned to court to advocate for people with substance abuse issues to be allowed to enroll in the Shepherd’s House outpatient treatment program, where he is now director of community outreach.

“She took me under her wing and taught me about the courtroom proceedings,” Fox said. And he saw how her attitude toward rehabilitation changed, too, when she witnessed how programs like the Shepherd’s House helped individuals who really wanted to turn their lives around, he said.

“She was so proud of the progress that they made,” Fox added. “She did so much for the success of The Shepherd’s House in those first couple of years. She was a catalyst. She really made a difference.”

A Paducah native, Dean obtained her undergraduate degree from Transylvania University, before completing her law degree at the University of Kentucky. She started her 16-year law career in Louisville.

Dean moved to Danville and began working for attorney Bill Stevens. Former Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney hired Dean as the part-time assistant county attorney; she then worked part-time for the county attorney’s office and part-time for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. Eventually, the county attorney’s office became full-time.

Dean was the wife of Boyle County Detective Phillip Dean, and was the mother of three young children.