Tragedy At CNN As Legal Commentator, Noted Defense Attorney Drowns Off Georgia Island
Prominent lawyer and television legal analyst Page Pate died in a drowning off a Georgia island Sunday.

A prominent defense attorney and CNN legal contributor drowned after being swept out to sea while swimming off the coast of a Georgia island.

Page Pate, 55, was swimming with his teenage son off St. Simons Island, Georgia, Sunday when the current pulled him out, according to The Brunswick News. The Atlanta-based trial attorney and legal analyst’s family has a home on the island.

“Once the shock wears off, it’s just hurt,” his law firm, Pate, Johnson and Church,  said in a statement. “And there’s no easy way about getting rid of that, except for time and grieving. “Though he was a formidable, sometimes intimidating, attorney in the courtroom, Page had an easy smile, an earnest laugh, and a great sense of humor.”

Rescue workers responded to a report of two swimmers in distress at about 2 p.m. Glynn County Fire-Rescue acting Chief Vinnie DiCristofalo confirmed that the two swimmers were Pate and his son, who managed to get to shore safely.

Responders aboard a rescue boat pulled Pate from the water and took him to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Pate graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law with honors, worked at law firms in Atlanta before launching his own practice. Pate, who is survived by sons Chatham and Asher, and widow Elizabeth, was a fixture on CNN and was often sought for insight and analysis by other media outlets.

“In memory of our friend and CNN contributor Page Pate,” tweeted CNN Newsroom host Poppy Harlow. “May his memory be a blessing. Thinking of his wife Elizabeth, his sons Chatham and Asher, his parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth, and his brother Lane.”

Pate was a co-founder of the Georgia Innocence Project, which called him a visionary and a “fierce advocate for the criminally accused and unjustly convicted.” In a statement, Clare Gilbert, the Georgia Innocence Project’s executive director, said that the organization’s family was “heartbroken” by the loss.

“Above all else, we will remember Page’s kindness and generosity, always willing to give anything he could to help, whether it be a personal matter or professional, and never asking anything in return,” Gilbert said.

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