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The Honorable Judge JOSH HILL

 

Judge Hill is an experienced criminal defense attorney,
who was elected in November, 2018 to preside over the 232nd Criminal District Court of Harris County. Board certified in criminal law, Hillalso volunteers his time to serve on the Monday STAR Drug Court Docket.

He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas (2001) and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston (2005). He worked for over six years as an intern and prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney's Office, assigned to a variety of divisions, before joining the Hill Law Firm in Houston.

Hill is not only a fighter in the courtroom;he has also competed in multiple combat sports over the years. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and he also has wrestled and boxed in college.

Justice Hill is married and has three beautiful children..


The Honorable Judge KELLI JOHNSON

 

Elected to the bench in November, 2016, Judge Johnson presides over the 178th Criminal District Court and during that time has focused on rehabilitation with mental health, addiction, homelessness and youth. Viewedas compassionate yet firm,Johnson graduated with honorsfrom TCU and received her Juris Doctorate Degree from South Texas College of Law. During law school she clerked forthe Court of Criminal Appeals, and before that, served for the White Houste Press Advance Team in DC.

Johnson was a Harris County ADA for 17 years and for eight years was a Felony Chief Prosecutor in the Trial Bureau. She was named Prosecutor of the Year in 2010 and was also honored by the HPD for her outstanding work in gang prosecuton.

Judge Johnson holds several administrative judicial roles, chairing the Standing Committee which oversees pretrial and the probation departments, as well as the Docket Reform committee to address backlog and consistency in dockets among all Courts in Harris County.

Justice Johnson will preside over the STAR Tuesday docket.


The Honorable Judge HAZEL JONES

 

Judge Jonesis a nativeHoustonian with a special mission of community outreach.She graduated from Smiley High School innortheast Houston and went on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Houston with a BA in Biology. She worked for the MD Anderson Cancer Center as a research analyst.

In 1996, Ms. Jones received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Howard University Law Schoolin Washington DC, after which she returned to Houston andbecame employed by the Harris County District Attorney's officeuntil 2003. For the next two years, she worked as a Special AssistantUS Attorney for the US Attorney's Office - Southern District of Texas.

She practiced criminal defense law from 2005-2008 when shewas first elected to the bench as Judge of the 338th CriminalDistrict Court of Harris County. She ran again in 2016 and was elected to thde 174th Criminal District Court where she presides today. Shehas beeninstrumental in reducing her docket to allow better access to justice for citizens of Harris County.

Judge Jones presides over theWednesday Docket of STAR Drug Court where she will continue to follow her life'scalling.


The Honorable Judge DANNY LACAYO

 

Representing the Thursday STAR Court Docket is Judge Danilo "Danny" Lacayo, who also proudly presides over the 182nd Criminal District Court in Harris County, a position he was elected to in November, 2018.

Judge Lacayo immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua as a young child, and was the translator for his family.  With over a decade of experience practicing law, he started  his career practicing civil law but found it unfulfilling.  He went on to served as a Harris County prosecutor. 

Lacayo graduated from the University of Houston Law School, and he ran for office to put his diverse and balanced experiences with the law as well as his strong commitment to rehabilitative justice. 

Judge Lacayo is married and has two wonderful children.

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