Judge running unopposed in November election

Monday, October 13, 2008 | 7:08 p.m. CDT; updated 7:37 p.m. CDT, Sunday, October 26, 2008
Jodie C. Asel

COLUMBIA — Jodie C. Asel, the Division IV circuit judge within the 13th Circuit Court, is running unopposed for re-election in November.

Born on June 9, 1950, in Chaffee, Asel commuted to Cape Girardeau to attend Notre Dame Regional High School, where she graduated in 1968.


AGE: 58

RUNNING FOR: Division IV judge within the 13th Judicial Circuit Court

EDUCATION: MU School of Law, law degree;

MU, bachelor's degree.

HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Sewing, cooking, reading

FAMILY: Married to Don Asel, 60, and has three daughters: Ashley, 29; Toby, 27; and Mackenzie, 23.

RELEVANT BACKGROUND: Served on: executive council of the Judicial Conference of the State of Missouri; Board of Directors of the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges; Missouri Supreme Court Committees, including Family Court, Case Management, Fine Collection, Legislative Steering

OTHER COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Missouri Supreme Court Trial Judge Education Committee, Coordinating Commission for the Judicial Department of Education


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A graduate of MU, Asel received her bachelor's degree in 1972 and her law degree from the School of Law in 1975.

After graduating, Asel served as a legal educator at MU for a year, which involved giving legal advice to students. She then served as a Boone County assistant prosecuting attorney from 1976 to 1978. From 1979 to 1980, she served as an assistant public defender. She went into private practice from 1981 to 1991, where she worked mostly in criminal defense.

In 1991, Asel was appointed an associate circuit judge by former Gov. John Ashcroft. She was officially elected for the office in 1992, and was re-elected in 1994, 1998 and 2002.

Asel was elected to her current position as circuit judge in 2006. If re-elected in November, she will be serving her second term.

Adding to her career experience, Asel has served on several judicial committees. She served on the executive council of the Judicial Conference of the State of Missouri from 1994 to 2006. From 1995 to 2002, she served on the board of directors of the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges, and as its president from 2000 to 2001.

Asel has also served on various Missouri Supreme Court committees, including the Family Court, Case Management, Fine Collection and Legislative Steering committees. She presently serves on the Trial Judge Education Committee and the Coordinating Commission for Judicial Education.

Presiding Circuit Court Judge Gene Hamilton said that he has known Asel for about 30 years and works with her on a daily basis. "Judge Asel is an excellent judge," he said. He noted that her credentials make her well-suited for the job.

When asked what she believed her greatest accomplishment is, Asel could not narrow it down to anything specific. "I don't have any one thing that stands out," she said. "It's all been a great experience."

Outside of her law career, Asel has one accomplishment in which she takes obvious pride. "My kids," she said. "I have awesome kids."

As her second term approaches, Asel notes that her biggest concern is with an expanding caseload. "The caseload is increasing in Boone County," she said. "What I see is a lot of hard work in the future."


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Jan Davis December 11, 2009 | 9:38 p.m.

I would like to know if there is a way to write or email Judge Asel. I was reading the new comment re her running unopposed in the November election. I am so glad I do not live In MO, although I am sure it is a great state. The Ferguson family shows me there are hard working kind citizens that reside there, and as my heart goes out to the nightmare they have gone through and still suffer from, I read with awe when Judge Asel refers to her children. I am sure she is proud of them, and I am equally sure she has every right to be. I do have to ask myself, however, as I read the tragic case of the Ferguson family and her lack of help for them, how she or Kevin Crane sleep at night. If one of her children were caught up in a crime that all evidence pointed to the fact that they did NOT committ, there was no physical evidence found and the only real evidence was a dream from one of her children's friends, would she fight for their freedom? I think she would. I don't think she would let one of them be convicted of a crime with no evidence, and I don't think she would see them sent to prison based on the "dream" of one of their friends. I say the same for Crane if he has children. Guess it's ok if it's not YOUR child, but I know if one of mine was accused of a crime, I would want more evidence than a dream, would she not want the same? I am disgusted that Ryan Ferguson sits in prison and she blocks every attempt the family has made to even help him. Given the family ties with Crane, she should have excused herself from this case. She should have looked into the eyes of that innocent young man and tried to help him, she has children. Does she not have any concience? Crane said when he took it to court he didn't have to have physical evidence. Problem is, he HAD physical evidence, it just didn't point to Ryan so he didn't want it. So he closed another case, so the murderers get their freedom, and he gets to gloat that he solved another one. Never mind if it didn't add up, he didn't care. He just didn't care that he was sending an innocent man to prison, and I think he KNOWS he was doing just that. He just isn't man enough to admit it.

(Report Comment)
Jan Davis December 11, 2009 | 10:13 p.m.

This comment is for Kevin Crane. I am so glad I do not reside in MO. I am sure it is a great place, and I know some wonderful people live there, such as the Fergusons that have had the nightmare of watching their son be convicted and sent to prison based on a DREAM that his friend had. This friend that was knows to tell outrageous stories and exhibit bizarre behavior. I feel such sadness for Ryan and his family. You stated in your interview on 48 hours (and you looked ridicilous by the way), but you stated you did not need physical evidence. You had physical evidence, but it just wasn't what you wanted since not a shred of it pointed either to Ryan Ferguson or Chuck Erickson. So, in your town, two people get away with murder, while you try and manage to get a conviction for an innocent young man without a shred of evidence. Oh wait a minute, I forgot, you had your evidence, you had the DREAM of a bizarre disturbed young man known to tell outrageous stories. The rest had to be told to him, the weapon used, the scene of the crime, how many times that poor man was hit, but you had a DREAM, that was all you needed. No, that was all you wanted. Would you allow any child that you loved be convicted of a crime where all evidence pointed that he was not the killer, based on a dream? I am disgusted with the judicial system or at least that of the judical system there in your area. Would most sensible caring prosecuters not wait and say, hey, bring me something that ties this kid to the crime? I am not going to take this kid to court based on a dream and especially when that dream is full of holes and all the details have to be given to him? He was fed that information, it is not an opinion, it is factual and on tape. I hope in time, when Ryan is out of prison, some charges can be brought against you for witholding evidence, Brady violations at least twice or more. Were you that little kid in school that never won a race or won anything, grew up to be in public office, and decided winning was everything? Even at the price of a young man who is innocent. I doubt you will ever admit it, even after he is set free, but somewhere deep down, somewhere real deep, I believe even you know he is innocent. You just had to wrap this case up and you just didn't care if an innocent person went to prison for a long time, as long as you could say you won your case. There are more americans than you can count that believe he is innocent and hopefully enough will stand up and be heard until this young man is set free. I can't believe you could be that heartless.

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