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Defense Attorney Ronald Wayne Smith Appointed to Madison County District Judge Post

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has appointed criminal defense attorney Ronald Wayne Smith district judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit, which serves Madison County.

Smith was sworn in Monday afternoon.

“I’m humbled and honored to get the appointment and will do my best to try to treat everybody in front of me fairly and impartially,” he said.

Smith fills the position left vacant when Ivey appointed former District Judge Patrick Tuten to the circuit judgeship that was reallocated to Madison County from Jefferson County.

Smith has been both a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office and defense attorney. He believes serving on both sides will help him to be impartial to either side as a judge.

Smith is a Birmingham native. He moved to Madison County 23 years ago.

“I worked for the district attorney’s office for about three years,” Smith said. “I’ve been in private practice since.”

Smith has been appointed in a time when county officials have appealed for more circuit and district judges to keep pace with the county’s growth, which led to the reallocation of the circuit judgeship from Jefferson County. The reallocation was challenged in court, but upheld by the Alabama Supreme Court.

“I’ve got plenty of work to do and look forward to doing it,” Smith said of the county’s increased caseload.

“As one of my appointees, you will be making important decisions that directly affect the citizens of Alabama,” Ivey wrote in her appointment letter. “I have made honesty and integrity a priority in my administration, and I know that you will embody these two virtues while serving the people of Alabama. Please plan to attend all of the meetings within reason, be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money, and work in your position to instill trust in state government.”

A University of Alabama law school graduate, Smith has been involved in many high profile cases in north Alabama. For instance, Smith represented Brittany Smith (no relation), who fatally shot Todd Smith (also no relation), saying he had raped and choked her hours before the deadly shooting in Stevenson, Ala. on Jan. 16, 2018.

Brittany Smith pleaded guilty to a murder charge in a deal with prosecutors, but only after failing to convince the courts that she was not guilty under the state’s “stand your ground” law. The case was featured in the Netflix documentary, “The State of Alabama v. Brittany Smith.” The newly appointed district judge appears in the documentary in his role as her attorney.

Ronald Smith is married and the father of four children.

Source : AL.com