Longtime chief public defender out, interim named

Longtime chief public defender out, interim named

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A longtime chief public defender in Northeast Arkansas is no longer with the office, and an interim chief public defender has been selected.

According to Arkansas Public Defender Commission executive director Gregg Parrish, 2nd Judicial District Chief Public Defender Bill Howard was dismissed March 31. The 2nd District covers Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Greene, Mississippi and Poinsett counties.

Parrish would not give a reason for the change. However, Parrish said Chris Jester, who currently serves as chief public defender in the 3rd Judicial District (Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph and Sharp counties) was named to serve on an interim basis.

Howard had worked for the public defender's office for nearly 20 years.

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