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Cooper appoints new judges to the state bench

Gov. Roy Cooper has appointed six new judges to the state bench — one to Superior Court and five to District Court.

Each of the appointees are replacing judges who retired or who were appointed to other judgeships.

“Superior and District Court judges are so important to our justice system and hear cases critical to their communities every day,” Cooper stated in a news release. “These appointees bring strong experience to the bench and I believe they will serve the people of our state well.”

He appointed Judge William “Bill” Wood to the Superior Court bench in Guilford County to replace Judge Lindsay Davis, who retired earlier this year.

Wood has served as an assistant district attorney in Guilford County for nearly thirty years, where he has specialized in prosecuting violent crimes, according to Cooper’s office.

Cooper appointed Judge Keith Mason to the District Court serving Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Tyrrell and Washington counties. He is replacing Judge Michael Paul, who retired earlier this year.

Mason served as an attorney in private practice for more than 25 years and previously served as an assistant district attorney in the same counties he was appointed to as a judge.

Judge Sophia Gatewood Crawford was appointed as a district court judge serving Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Hoke counties. She is replacing Judge Lisa Thacker, who retired earlier this year, according to Cooper’s Office.

Gatewood previously served as a trial attorney in private practice for 17 years and as a senior assistant district attorney.

Cooper appointed Marcus Shields as a District Court judge serving Guilford County — he replaces Judge Avery Crump, who retired earlier this year.

Shields served as an attorney in private practice, as an attorney for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services and as an assistant public defender. He has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Elon University School of Law.

Cooper appointed Faith Fickling as a District Court judge serving Mecklenburg County. She is replacing Judge Donnie Hoover, who was recently appointed to a Superior Court judgeship.

Fickling served as an attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina for nearly 12 years and previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar.

Roy Wiggins was appointed as a District Court judge in Mecklenburg County. He is replacing Judge Karen Eady-Williams, who was recently appointed to Superior Court judgeship.

Wiggins served as an attorney in private practice for over 20 years and previously as an assistant district attorney.

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