CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Maryclaire Akers has been appointed to fill a circuit court vacancy in Kanawha County.
Gov. Jim Justice announced the appointment Wednesday morning.
Akers, a Charleston native, will replace the late Circuit Judge Charles King, who died in December. Akers did much of her prosecuting work in front of King.
“I looked up to Charlie,” Akers told MetroNews. “He was very much a teacher not just to me, but a whole bunch of people. Lawyers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, trial attorneys, everybody.”
Akers said while she has experience as a prosecutor, that does not mean she will not be a just judge.
“I think my goal is to be fair to everyone and to be able to open my courtroom, have parties in front of me, hear their issues, and do the best job I can to be fair in my decisions and render them quickly,” she said.
Akers graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1999. She earned a journalism degree from WVU in 1995. She’s spent much of her 21 years practicing in the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office.
With Akers’ appointment, five of the seven circuit judges in Kanawha County are female.
The seat will be up for election in May 2022.
King, who died on Dec. 28, became a Kanawha County assistant prosecutor in 1973 and was elected as the prosecuting attorney in 1984. He was first elected as circuit judge in 1988. He served as the chief judge on several occasions, including the majority of 2020.