District Attorney-elect John Kellner is pleased to announce the team he has selected to implement his vision in his new administration.
“I firmly believe that the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is one of the best DA offices in the state, but I intend to aim even higher. To that end, I’ve selected some outstanding leaders for senior positions,” Kellner said. “I know we can do more to support victims, tackle rising violent crimes in our communities, support rehabilitation for defendants, and improve transparency and accountability to create a more equitable criminal justice system.”
From within the office, Kellner named Tom Byrnes, a Navy veteran and judge advocate, to be his Assistant District Attorney, the No. 2 position. To lead the Arapahoe office as its Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney, Kellner tapped long-time prosecutor Vicki Klingensmith, who has been serving the community more than 16 years. Chris Wilcox, who was recently named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year by the Colorado District Attorney’s Council, will have the same role and title in the Douglas County office.
Kellner is also bringing back Chief Deputy District Attorney Eva Wilson to lead the Elbert County office. For the last 16 years, Wilson has worked in the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, she was a prosecutor in the 18th for 20 years.
“I am confident that these leaders will put our office in a good position over the next four years,” Kellner said. “I look forward to working together to accomplish great things for our communities.”
With respect to upcoming major trials, Kellner has asked George Brauchler to stay with the office as the leader of the prosecution team for the STEM School shooting in Highlands Ranch. Brauchler is expected to serve as a Chief Deputy District Attorney through the completion of that trial, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 1, 2021.
“I am grateful to Mr. Brauchler for his commitment to the victims and families involved in the STEM shooting to see this trial through,” Kellner said. “He is invested in this case and the community, having worked with the victims and law enforcement involved for more than 18 months, and he has graciously agreed to stay with us on a part-time basis so that he can finish the case.”
Kellner and his team will be sworn in, along with the rest of the office, on Jan. 12.