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Mission Statement


The mission of the District Attorney's Office is to seek justice by ensuring that victims' rights and the public's safety are our number one priority through the fair, equal, vigorous and efficient enforcement of the criminal laws.

Your District Attorney

Todd Williams, 54, is a North Carolina native born in Winston-Salem. He attended U.N.C. at Chapel Hill and  graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in English. After college, Todd taught English as a Second Language and adult basic skills to textile workers, immigrants, and the homeless in central North Carolina.  Todd's experience before law school led him to pursue a career in social justice through public service law and later legal internships at the Southern Center for Human Rights and a civil rights law firm led Todd to focus on criminal justice. 

Todd worked for nearly 15 years as both a public and capital defender and represented indigent defendants of all ages at every level in our justice system from misdemeanors to murder. Prior to 2014, five young working-class African American men had been convicted on bad, undisclosed evidence in Buncombe County and had served years in prison for crimes they did not commit. The integrity of the justice system was at an ebb, and in early 2014 Todd launched a trailblazing campaign for D.A. that proudly focused both on his service to immigrants and the unhoused and his broad experience in criminal law as a public defender in N.C. courts. Todd claimed that a prosecutor was morally required to right past wrongful convictions and to expand prosecutorial discretion to enhance pathways to healing and rehabilitation for both justice-involved persons and victims of crime.

Todd resoundingly defeated a 24-year incumbent and took office on January 1, 2015. D.A. Williams was re-elected in 2018 and again in 2022.

D.A. Williams has resolved heinous crimes while concurrently working to reverse questionable past convictions including convictions of the young men who were exonerated (see above) and to remove two men from N.C.’s death row. D.A. Williams was instrumental in creating wraparound services for victims through the Child Advocacy and Family Justice Centers, and services for offenders including the Justice Resource Center, the Adult Drug, and Juvenile Misdemeanor Diversion Programs, Veterans’ Treatment Court, expungement clinics and amnesty days, all focused on offering opportunities to non-violent offenders to regain employability and recovery without the stigma of a conviction. D.A. Williams recommended investigation of the Buncombe County Manager for corruption and called for an end to self-investigation of potential criminal behavior by law enforcement agencies. D.A. Williams proudly served as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission for a three-year term ending in 2023, and currently serves on the North Carolina Courts Commission which is focused on ensuring that our court system transitions to e-filing. He is an active participant in national justice networks sponsored by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution, and Fair and Just Prosecution.    

D.A. Williams is a N.C. State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law and lives in Asheville with his wife, a trauma focused mental health counselor, and family.


D.A. Williams regularly comments on the work of the D.A.'s Office:

Weekly WWNC First News 570 AM radio segment can be found here

July 2023: Interview with WLOS's Ty Russell;

May 2023: Overlook Podcast Part I and Part II;

April 2024: Overlook Podcast The Politics of Prosecution.

For current news and updates about the work of the District Attorney’s Office, please subscribe to the Office's feed on Substack.  Information about the DA's Office going back to January 1, 2015 remains on Twitter (or "X"). The DA's Office intends to reduce use of Twitter for the distribution of press releases and other information about the Office. 

Buncombe D.A. Staff

Senior Assistant District Attorneys:

Meredith R. Pressley

Justin Steen

Stormy Ellis

Kyle Sherard

Meredith Mercer

Amy Buchanan

Drug Crimes Lead Prosecutor:

Justin Steen

Special Victims Lead Prosecutors:

Stormy Ellis, Amy Buchanan, Kyle Sherard

Financial Crimes Lead Prosecutor:

Justin Philbeck

Domestic Violence Lead Prosecutor:

Kyle Sherard

Vehicle Crimes Lead Prosecutor:

L. Meredith Mercer

Arson Crimes Lead Prosecutor:

L. Meredith Mercer

Conviction Review Lead Prosecutor:

Meredith R. Pressley

Superior and District Court Prosecutors:

Kyle Sherard, Katie Kurdys, Blair Barker  

Daniel Hervig, Joshua Harrold, Blythe McCoy

Austin Braxton, Lorin Page, Zachary O'Halloran

District Attorney Administrative Assistant

Susanne M. Middleton

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