Chief District Court Judge R. Les Turner, hospitalized at UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill since May 10, died Thursday.
Turner collapsed in a stairwell inside the Wayne County Courthouse and was found unresponsive by a bailiff.
Turner's office and staff, citing his family's wish for privacy, have been reluctant to release information about what led to his fall and deteriorating condition leading up to his passing.
Reports of an apparent aneurysm have circulated throughout the community but so far remain unconfirmed.
Details regarding funeral arrangements are expected in the coming days.