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Four Magistrate Court judges sworn in

Oath-takers include second-generation justice

Photo by Elaine Rackley
Clayton County Superior Court Judge Matthew O. Simmons gave the oath of office to Stephen Norris Knight Jr. Knight is a second-generation magistrate court judge following in his father’s footsteps. Simmons swore in four Clayton County Magistrate Court Judges.

Photo by Elaine Rackley Clayton County Superior Court Judge Matthew O. Simmons gave the oath of office to Stephen Norris Knight Jr. Knight is a second-generation magistrate court judge following in his father’s footsteps. Simmons swore in four Clayton County Magistrate Court Judges.

JONESBORO — “I am honored to have been chosen to serve the citizens of Clayton County,” said Keisha Wright Hill. “I look forward to making a difference.”

Family and friends filled Clayton County Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker’s courtroom to watch four Clayton County Magistrate Court Judges be sworn into office Friday. Clayton County Superior Court Judge Matthew O. Simmons gave the oath of office to Hill, Stephen N. Knight Jr., Kimberly L. Fowler Bandoh and Tammy Long Heward.

“I think Judge Walker made great choices,” said Simmons. “They are very qualified people and people of integrity. I am honored that they asked me to be a part of their ceremony.”

After the new judges took the oath, they clothed themselves in their black robes, as family and friends erupted into applause.

“I chose them because they have extensive experience in both criminal and civil law,” said Walker. “That is important for the constituents of Clayton County. I also chose them because of their deep commitment to public service and their pursuit of justice.”

Walker announced that Knight is a second-generation magistrate court judge, following in his father’s footsteps.

“I started prosecuting at the solicitor’s office and then I left,” Knight said, chuckling. “I came back to prosecute cases for the district attorney’s office and I left again, and now I am back.”

Fowler said she will take on her new judgeship with the “utmost of seriousness.”

“It is with great pleasure and honor that I accept this role,” said Fowler. “To whom much is given much is required.”

Heward acknowledged people in the crowd who were from various phases in her life.

“I will do everything I can to do right by you,” said Heward. “I plan to serve the people of Clayton County with everything that my parents and grandparents have instilled in me.”

Deborah Cummings was on hand to watch “her niece,” Hill become a magistrate judge. She described Hill as a very committed Christian.

“I am very proud of her,” said Cummings. “I have watched her go through childhood, law school, becoming a lawyer and now becoming a judge.”