By Sara Powers

DETROIT (AP) — Marianne Battani, a Detroit-area judge who served in local and federal courts for 40 years, has died at age 77.

Battani, who retired as a federal judge less than a year ago, died Thursday after a lengthy illness, U.S. District Court said Friday.

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“Her sense of right and wrong was uncanny,” said David Lawson, a fellow judge. “For me and many of us on the Eastern District bench, she was a source of wise counsel and sage advice.”

Battani was nominated to the federal court by President Bill Clinton in 1999 after about 20 years as a judge on the Detroit Common Pleas Court, 36th District Court and Wayne County Circuit Court.

In 1981, Gov. William Milliken appointed her to the Common Pleas Court — “a real shocker,” she recalled.

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“I have no idea how he found out about me,” Battani said last year.

She made headlines in 2018 when she sentenced a man to 30 days in custody for attacking his neighbor, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who suffered broken ribs and needed surgery. Prosecutors had asked for nearly two years in prison.

Battani was assigned to go to Kentucky to handle the case. She called the assault an “isolated incident,” not motivated by politics.

But after an appeal, a different judge sentenced Rene Boucher to eight months in prison and six months of home confinement.

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