Returning to a role that she is very familiar with, Donnie Coleman was sworn in on Monday as the new assistant district attorney in the 198th Judicial District. Coleman served over thirteen years in the assistant’s position under former DA Ron Sutton before running unsuccessfully for the office in 2004.
Coleman, a practicing attorney in the State of Texas since 1979, spent the interim as the first assistant district attorney in the 63rd and 83rd judicial districts prosecuting cases in Terrell, Kinney, Edwards and Val Verde counties.
The past two years she has been in private practice full time.
"I enjoy being in the courtroom and enjoy trials," Coleman said Monday after being sworn. "I know all the law enforcement officers, attorneys and probation officers in the 198th district already so the transition will be easy."
Coleman and her husband are long-time residents of Kimble County.
"I will mainly be handling cases in the 198th counties to the west," she said, "and help in Kerr County on busy court docket days." Those counties are Kimble, Mason, Menard and McCulloch.
Coleman noted that since she left the district attorney’s office in 2003 the caseload has almost doubled in the district and said it is impossible to handle today’s dockets with only two prosecutors in the DA’s office.
District Attorney Amos Barton and assistant DA Brad McCullouch have handled the prosecution of all cases in the five counties since late 2009.
"With only two prosecutors you are on the road every day," Coleman said, "so you can’t be in the office working on cases when you need to be."
Barton said he is very glad to have Coleman join his prosecution team with her background and experience plus her familiarity with the counties of the 198th Judicial District.