The test that was conducted by Forensic Science Associates, a California laboratory, conclusively proved that the biological evidence did not belong to Mr. Bloodsworth and that he was not the murderer. He was eventually freed from prison and paid $300,000 in compensation.

A decade later, Judge Brobst visited Mr. Bloodsworth at his Eastern Shore home and apologized.

"He served years of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit. And that's wrong, but it made me a better prosecutor then, and it's going to make me a better judge now because, of all people, I am mindful of how serious a business this is and how greatly it impacts lives," she said in the interview.

"Anybody who saw Ann try a case would come away and understand her deep sense of justice. She was a strong victim advocate and never lost sight of the people she was representing. And she carried this sense of public service onto the bench," said Stephen Bailey, a Towson lawyer and longtime friend.

"The only thing she wanted was to become a judge one day, and I remember how excited she was when she called me to tell me that Martin had appointed her to the bench," said Judge Fader. "She loved life and loved being a judge."

Judge Cox said she "always tried to do the right thing in her courtroom and she did it with poise and dignity."

Judge Turnbull said that she had worked up until about 21/2 weeks ago. "Courage. That's what Ann had. Courage. I urged her to take some time off because of her illness and she wouldn't do it," he said.

In her spare time, Judge Brobst enjoyed reading and gardening.

Judge Brobst's family will receive friends from 3 p.m to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Judge Brobst was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday.

She is survived by a son, Robert Richardson "Rick" Bowie III of Towson; and a daughter, Alice Chapman Bowie of Washington. Her marriage to Robert Richardson Bowie II ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com