After several years of presiding over the murder case involving O. J Simpson, Judge Lance Ito has never left the spotlight. Simpson was later acquitted of murder and as the 1995 murder case was one of the most talked about cases in American history, it directed immense attention to the Judge.
From the basic fact of his bio to those surrounding his career and family life, let’s learn more about Judge Lance Ito and figure out what’s been up with him.
Judge Lance Ito Bio
Judge Lance Ito is a retired American judge most notable for being the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge from 1987 to 2015. During his jury career, the brilliant judge presided over 500 trials including high profile cases such as the O.J Simpson murder case and Charles H. Keating Jr’s trial, among others. After thirty-five years of a successful law career, Ito went into retirement in 2015.
The LA superior court judge first came into this world on August 2, 1950; he was born Lance Allan Ito in Los Angeles, California. According to records, his parents Jimmy Ito and his wife Toshi Ito are Japenese immigrants.
While he was growing, Lance went to John Marshall High School situated in Los Feliz district of Los Angeles. Serving as the student union president, he was awarded Scholar-Athletelete Award in 1968. Soon after his graduation, Judge Lance Ito enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles where he obtained a law degree in 1972. He went on to attend the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall where he got his Juris Doctor in 1975.
Upon graduation, Lance joined the Los Angeles district attorney’s office in 1977. He was assigned to the hardcore gang as well as terror and organized crime unit. After a few years of practice, he was appointed to the Municipal Court by the then-governor George Deukmejian in 1987 and after two years, he was elevated to the position of a judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1989.
During his twenty-six years career as the judge of the superior court, Judge Lance presided over several high profile cases. Apart from the O.J Simpson and Keating trials, he heard and decided on over 500 cases of frauds, corruptions, injustice, rapes, and so on. His courtroom along with 55 others was closed down by the Los Angeles County in 2012 due to budget cut. Roughly three years later (in 2015), the judge retired.
Where Is He Now?
After his retirement, Judge Lance Ito revealed that the only thing he wanted to do was to learn how to play the guitar. Surprising, isn’t it? Despite the popularity of the Simpson case, Lance never allowed the glamour of the limelight to get into his head.
He still resides in Pasadena, California with his family. Sometime in 2016, the Judge was portrayed in the television series titled The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. His character was played by Kenneth Choi.
Ito’s Family – Wife and Children
While he was still an attorney at the Los Angeles attorney’s office several years ago, Lance met Margaret Peggy York who would eventually become his wife. According to reports, York retired as a police officer in 2002. It is said that she was the first woman to reach the rank of Deputy Chief in the Los Angeles Police Department. Interestingly, she is nine years older than Lance.
The amazing couple met during an investigation at the Eagle Rock crime scene and afterward, they began their relationship. In 1981, they exchanged marital vows in a small wedding held in the United States. The couple has been married for over three decades but they don’t have children of their own.
Although Judge Ito and his wife never considered the option of having kids or even adopting one, it has not affected the love, admiration and mutual respect they have for each other in any way. Besides, Peggy York has three grown-up children from her previous marriage and they see the Judge as a father-figure.
Their marriage has stood the test of time and has often been regarded as a union worthy of veneration. They often host cookouts at their Pasadena mansion while hanging out with so many of their friends.