Cville’s Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Sworn in as Judge
Claude Worrell (right) is sworn in as Juvenile and Domestic Relations judge by Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire (left)
Charlottesville's deputy commonwealth's attorney is a now a judge.
Claude Worrell officially has a seat on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court bench. While one group is excited for his arrival, another is trying to recoup from his departure.
"Claude is one of the hardest-working people I've ever known professionally," said Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman, Worrell's former boss.
Many agree the former prosecutor, sworn in Friday afternoon, is a valuable addition.
"He's got a lot of experience, he's seen all kinds of sides of life, he treats people as individuals, he's fair he's intelligent. He'll be a great judge," said Lloyd Snook, attorney and NBC29's legal analyst.
While the Juvenile Court is happily awaiting his arrival, Chapman says Worrell's shoes are big ones to fill.
"We're seeing 20 years of experience as a prosecutor go out the door. You cannot replace that," Chapman said.
Worrell's experience involved some high-profile cases like the George Huguely murder trial. Chapman says his office will survive but it will take time and additional manpower to make up for his departure.
"It will take two people and it'll take a number of years for us to recoup," Chapman said.
Worrell wouldn't go on camera Friday, citing ethical concerns, but he did give NBC29 a statement in April after he was chosen for the seat by the General Assembly. He says he is pleased to have the opportunity to continue to serve the community, in specific the 16th and General District Court.
Chapman says Worrell's life experiences will allow him to bring something rare to the table, making people feel comfortable in court.
"He'll make people who come to court comfortable with where they are and what's happening and how they're involved and what he's doing as a judge," Chapman said.
Worrell is taking over for Dwight Johnson, who retired in January. He will officially begin work on Monday, July 1.
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