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Judge Jon Payne, Chattooga County Probate Court.

Chattooga County Probate Judge Jon Payne died of COVID-19  Tuesday—the 10th probate judge in Georgia to contract the virus and the second to die from it.

Payne, 71, was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in late July and hospitalized a short time later, said Kevin Holder, executive director of the Council of Probate Court Judges. Payne was moved to the intensive care unit two weeks ago, where he was given supplemental oxygen. He was later placed in a medically-induced coma and put on a ventilator.

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R. Robin McDonald

Daily Report reporter R. Robin McDonald's journalism career includes stints as a staff writer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Wichita Eagle, and The Anniston Star and as a trial tracker at CourtTV and CNN. She is the author of two true crime books -- Black Widow: The True Story of the Hilley Poisonings and Secrets Never Lie: The Death of Sara Tokars.

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