, Press Release

Wake County Chief Public Defender Appointed

Deonte’ L. Thomas has been appointed as the chief public defender for Wake County.

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Wake County court officials have announced that Deonte’ L. Thomas has been appointed as chief public defender. Prior to his appointment, Thomas was the felony chief of the Wake County Public Defender’s Office. He is an experienced trial lawyer and has tried many high level and complex felonies to verdict. By law, the senior resident superior court judge appoints the public defender for Wake County.

“I am so pleased to be able to appoint Mr. Thomas to this position,” said Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway. “In addition to his well-deserved reputation as a fine trial lawyer, he brings invaluable passion, vision and leadership skills. Indigent defendants and our community will be well-served by our public defender’s office with Mr. Thomas as the chief.”

Thomas is a graduate of Fayetteville State University (2000) and earned his law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2005). Prior to joining the Wake County Public Defender’s Office in 2010, Thomas worked in private practice and with other agencies defending persons accused of crimes, including capital crimes.  

After a brief period of transition, Thomas will assume leadership of the office from Interim Chief Public Defender Mike Howell.