District Attorney’s office once again has 3 ADAs

Published 6:58 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The 9th Circuit District Attorney’s office is back to full strength, following the swearing in Wednesday of three new assistant district attorneys.

Branan Southerland, Michael Warren and Liem Walker were sworn in in Wednesday during ceremonies following the swearing in of County Judge Marcie Southerland, who left the District Attorney Ricky Smith after winning the election for judge.

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Southerland swore in her son. Warren and Walker were sworn in by Circuit Judge M. James Chaney.

“All three are local attorneys, they have local families, all three are graduates of the Vicksburg public school system,” Smith said.

“They all were practicing criminal defense attorneys prior to coming in the office.

I’ve been able to watch them over the years while I’ve been district attorney. I’ve had interaction with all of them. We’ve got a very good group of defense attorneys in Warren County, but those three stood out.”

• Southerland started practicing law May 2005. The majority of his practice, he said, was criminal defense and family law.

He said becoming an assistant district attorney was “something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I thought it was a good opportunity with him (Smith) losing everybody. Just a good transition.”

• Warren has been practicing since 2004, concentrating in criminal defense and civil litigation.

He said he had an association with the Smith’s office through his practice, adding, “the opportunity presented itself so we jumped at it.  We want to do justice for the citizens of the 9th District and protect children and the elderly and every citizen of the district.”

• Walker has had a sole private criminal defense practice since 2003. She was appointed Sharkey County public defender in 2008, and has also served as an advocate for children and practiced in youth court.

“I feel like I’ve had my time on trying to do justice representing individuals charged with crimes, and it just felt like a good time for as change,” she said of her decision to join Smith’s office.

“I’m interested in continuing to serve the community, so this was a good move to do that.”

Three assistants left Smith’s office in October and November to take other positions. Besides Southerland, Angela Carpenter was appointed city judge for Vicksburg, replacing Toni Terrett, who was elected to the 9th Circuit District Court, and Bert Carraway, who went to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Jackson.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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