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A Conversation With … Todd Myers

Associate Circuit Judge, Greene County

Posted online

How did this appointment from Gov. Mike Parson come about?
Greene County uses the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan and under that plan, when there is a judicial opening, applicants can apply to the commission. The commission then recommends three applicants to the governor and the governor makes a selection. I was honored to be selected by the judicial commission as one of the candidates going to the governor. The others were Todd Thornhill and David Mercer. The governor appointed me out of that group. Judge [Becky] Borthwick was appointed to a circuit court judge of Division 6, and I am filling the position that she vacated. That added a judge to our circuit.

As an associate circuit clerk judge, what types of cases will you hear?
It will be some criminal and civil cases. The criminal cases will tend to be misdemeanors and preliminary hearings. The civil cases will be cases such as small claims, rent possession and civil claims under $25,000.

Why did you want to become a judge?
I’ve spent the last 21 years working in the Greene County prosecutor’s office. And what I always liked about being a prosecutor was that the law said the goal of a prosecutor is not to win or lose a case, but to see that justice is done. A judge has a lot of that same duty. The judge is there only to make sure that the rule of law is followed, that it’s followed consistently and that justice is done for the people in that lawsuit. The reason I wanted to do this was just to have an opportunity to continue serving the citizens of Greene County in a different capacity, but in a capacity where I felt like I might be able to do more than I had been doing as a prosecutor.

You are leaving the Greene County prosecutor’s office as chief assistant. What were your main responsibilities and what were some of the more notable cases you oversaw?
I would oversee a lot of the day-to-day operations. We have 40 attorneys roughly to supervise and about 60 support staff. As far as cases I’ve tried, it would be the Craig Wood/Hailey Owens case, the Diane Staudte case, the Mark Porter case. Mark Porter pled guilty to killing Gary and Jan Tyrrell. That was on “Dateline.” Diane Staudte pled guilty to killing Mark Staudte, Shaun Staudte and trying to kill her daughter. That case was on “20/20.” Other cases I’ve done through the years would be a lot of the drunk driving cases where people were killed going back to Crystal Pacheco, who killed the lady by the name of Walci Cory. There have been a lot of cases, primarily homicide cases or very serious cases, that I’ve tried over the years.

What are the principles that guided you as a prosecutor that will now guide you as a judge?
The first would be to seek truth. The judge is the interpreter or the referee in the courtroom. And you always want to make sure that if you’re making a decision that you come down on the side of truth. You’re a public servant. You’re accountable to the public for what you do.

Todd Myers can be reached at todd.myers@courts.mo.gov.

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