Gov. Jay Nixon today appointed Kevin D. Harrell, chief deputy prosecuting attorney for Jackson County, to serve as a Circuit Judge on the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, which covers Jackson County. He will fill a vacancy on the circuit created by the appointment of the Honorable Brian C. Wimes to the federal bench.
Harrell joined the Prosecuting Attorney's Office in 1998 as an assistant prosecuting attorney, where his responsibilities included serving as trial team leader in the Kansas City Drug Unit. In 2007, he was appointed chief deputy prosecuting attorney, and has served in that position to the present time. Harrell has tried more than 60 cases during his time with the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, including gaining convictions in such cases as that of Shy Bland, known as the Westport rapist; and quadruple murderer Gevante Anderson.
As an assistant prosecuting attorney, Harrell received the Patrick B. Hall Trial Attorney of the Year Award in 2005. He also was named as Victim Champion of the Year for 2001 and 2003.
"Kevin Harrell has a strong and lengthy record of ably handling a wide variety of criminal cases in Jackson County, and I believe he will be an excellent judge for the people of this county," Gov. Nixon said.
Harrell obtained his law degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law. He has served as a board member of Kansas City's Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, and was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to the Region IV Disciplinary Committee, which works with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel to review complaints against licensed attorneys.
Harrell was one of three applicants submitted to Gov. Nixon for consideration by the 16th Circuit Judicial Commission under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.