Commonwealth’s legal professional diana wheeler o’connell brings sixteen years of experience and some high-profile victories as orange county’s top prosecutor to her bid for reelection q4. However o’connell stated at some point of an interview last week at her courthouse workplace that as lots as she loves to win, that’s no longer what being a commonwealth’s lawyer is all about. “this function is considered a minister of justice, so it’s now not as honest as representing a defendant wherein you need to get the satisfactory deal you could for your defendant” or, better nonetheless, get the prices dropped. She said the motive of her process is to make certain justice is finished. For the duration of her contemporary time period in workplace, o’connell convicted cathy rothgeb, a former volunteer orange county excessive faculty softball instruct, on multiple sexual offenses, and anne williams, head of a horse rescue operation in somerset, on a couple of counts of animal cruelty. Although these instances drew a high-quality deal of attention, there are many others that few human beings are privy to. As of mid-september, her office had recorded about 450 circuit court criminal instances for 2019. There are more time period days, at some point of which o’connell and her assistants will present indictments to a grand jury. She said each of those term dates may want to result in an extra 25 to 75 new instances. Orange county’s population has risen from approximately 26,000 in 2000 to 38,000 nowadays, and the criminal case-load has risen along with it. Based on a kingdom formula factoring in population and legal caseload, o’connell has extended the prosecutor’s team of workers from attorneys to 5. Like her challenger, web page higginbotham iii, o’connell sees drug-associated crimes as a major hassle in orange county. She has all started working on plans to release a drug court docket. If she is re-elected, she stated the drug courtroom probably could start hearing instances in january. The concept behind drug courts is to take a holistic approach that entails helping offenders get treatment and hopefully slicing down on recidivism. O’connell, 62, is the daughter of a retired air pressure fighter pilot who later became a minister. She is a graduate of hardin-simmons college in texas and the college of richmond’s t. C. Williams school of regulation. She stated she enrolled in law faculty due to the fact she went via a tough divorce from her first husband and desired as a way to guard her kids during custody hearings. Even as in regulation faculty, she prepared for a profession as a prosecutor through interning for a decide in a juvenile and domestic relations court and operating for the richmond commonwealth’s attorney’s office, additionally in juvenile and home relations. In 1993, she and her 2nd husband, rick wheeler, moved to orange, in which she served as assistant commonwealth’s lawyer and later worked as a crook defense and circle of relatives regulation legal professional for somerville, carter, wilkinson and wheeler, ltd. In 2004, she started her career as the county’s pinnacle prosecutor. After rick wheeler died in 2014, o’connell married mark o’connell, a creator and retired probation officer. They stay in somerset and each has 3 grown children.