As a conservative Constitutionalist, I will impartially interpret and apply the law, and the Constitution, as it is written.
Growing up in a blue-collar, hardworking, rural family has provided me a grounded sense of self, and strong work ethic. During my youth I built relationships with local legal stalwarts, Dale Johnson and Doug Parsons. Admiration for these exceptional legal minds inspired me to pursue a career as an attorney. I attended Campbell University to obtain both my undergraduate and law degrees, graduating Valedictorian of my law school class. While in law school I interned with the NC Dept. of Agriculture legal counsel where I developed an enthusiasm for public service. This enthusiasm led me to the District Attorney’s office where I honed and developed an extensive resume of courtroom and jury trial experience. This prosecutorial experience includes everything from seatbelt tickets to murder. Specifically, my cases centered on seeking justice for victims of violent crimes and issues of domestic violence. While with the DA’s office I spent 6 years serving on the State Rehabilitation Council, helping North Carolinians with disabilities achieve their goals for employment and independence. After several years I left the DA’s office and built a successful career in private practice. I was asked by my peers to pursue this judgeship, and after much prayer and consideration with my wife and children, I decided to again focus my legal abilities in public service.
Partisanship should never be a consideration in determining the outcome of a case. Cases should be decided on facts and the text of the law, not on the partisan nature of the litigants. There should be no agenda in the courtroom except the fair administration of justice.
There are presently two major obstacles to justice.
The first is the assurance that cases are being brought to court, and are being heard timely. The pandemic, and the resulting shutdowns of courthouses within our district, have left our citizens with an exceptionally large backlog of cases. The courthouse staff, attorneys, and others are working diligently to rectify these delays; however, all cogs in the wheel must pull their weight equally. A strong work ethic and enthusiasm for serving the public is essential to providing citizens with the timely attention the law requires. As a judge, I will provide this work ethic and commit to efficiently addressing this issue.
The second obstacle is the lax approach with which many litigants approach court. I will show respect, courtesy, and kindness to everyone in court, whether they are a court official, a litigant, or a member of the public. In return, I will ensure that the same is shown between parties in court and to the courthouse staff. It seems to be thought acceptable by some to show less respect to our institutions, specifically towards law enforcement and public servants. By showing those traits, I hope others will mirror them and do the same. If not, I will use all the tools in my toolbox to remedy the situation and restore proper treatment of the law enforcement officers and public servants that help our court systems run every day.
I have experience in almost every type of case regularly handled in District Court. I have extensive knowledge in criminal law and juvenile cases. I was a violent crimes prosecutor for several years before building a successful private practice where I have continued to handle criminal cases ranging from seatbelt tickets to murder. My knowledge and experience in criminal law is deep and thorough. Additionally, part of my case responsibilities as a prosecutor included juvenile cases and I have handled juvenile cases in private practice as well. Though it has not been the primary focus of my practice, I have experience in family law as well ranging from child custody to termination of parental rights cases. Consequently, if elected, I will be knowledgeable and comfortable in any courtroom where I am assigned.
It is imperative to the administration of justice to have an impartial and independent judiciary; not persuaded by politics nor criticism.
I have 20 Years experience as Judge being elected in 2000; the first female to be elected to a judgeship in this district. While performing my judicial duties, I have consistent and active community involvement with our Teen Court programs, Institute of Political Leadership Advisory Board, Duplin County Education Advisory Board, Duplin County Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., and many other civic events and organizations. I believe it important to work with our youth. Throughout the years I visit the classrooms, participate in Career Days, DARE Graduations, and school and college graduations of the district. Prior to being elected as judge, I was an Assistant District Attorney in this district for 6 years; a legal intern with the NC Court of Appeals and a civil law practice; and an Instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College. I was born and raised in Kenansville, NC in a family of 13 children and attended the public schools of Duplin county. As a youth, I worked during the summers on tobacco, cucumber, and blueberry farms. I earned my undergraduate degree in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill, my law degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law; a Fellowship at the Institute of Political Leadership; and my Master of Arts in Christian Education from Shaw University Divinity School. I am happily married to Pastor Victor Wilson of The People’s Church. My experiences have sufficiently prepared me to effectively continue as a District Court Judge.
Political affiliation does not and has never played a role in my work as a Judge. The political parties of the person who appeared before me are not relevant to my case decisions. Our Code of Judicial Conduct commands that political platforms should not play a role in the work of a Judge. Fairness, impartiality, and unbiased are the characteristics of a judge; the character traits I strive to continue each day.
One of the greatest obstacles I perceive is lack of legal representation in civil matters for persons who cannot afford an attorney on their own. The Legal Aid of North Carolina is available to assist but this organization does not usually handle custody, divorce, and equitable distribution matters. As a judge, I can play a role by speaking to the appropriate entities in an effort to remove this obstacle so long as my participation does not interfere with my duties as a judge.
I bring 26 years of public service experience, without bias, as a District Court Judge and an Assistant District Attorney. As a prosecutor, I handled felony crimes in Superior court and misdemeanor crimes in District court. I was also the Juvenile Court prosecutor for the entire district. During my 20 years as a Judge, I presided over family court, criminal court, and juvenile justice court. I have also completed Advance Juvenile Justice courses to earn my Juvenile Court Judge Certification and completed Advanced family law courses. Continuing Judicial Education is required as a judge and I have always maintained my educational credits through the UNC School of Government covering all areas of the law. This work and educational experience more than adequately prepares me to preside over matters of family law, criminal law, and juvenile justice issues.