COLUMBIA — Judge Jodie Capshaw Asel was elected as presiding judge Tuesday night for and by the 13th Judicial Circuit of Missouri, which serves Boone and Callaway counties.
Asel, 62, will take over for Judge Gary Oxenhandler, who served as presiding judge for 33 months after the retirement of former presiding Judge Gene Hamilton.
Court Administrator Kathy Lloyd said the primary duties of the presiding judge are established by local court rule. Those responsibilities include:
- Presiding at all court en banc meetings.
- Supervising and appointing committees.
- Coordinating personnel duties.
- Supervising preparation of the budget.
- Handling media and governmental contacts.
- Establishing procedures and schedules and making docket assignments for the court's divisions.
- Assigning cases to judges and judges to court divisions.
- Representing the court en banc in the call and supervision of petit and grand jury functions.
The 13th Judicial Circuit comprises four circuit judges and five associate judges. Asel was one of the four circuit judges eligible to become the presiding judge. The others were Christine Carpenter, Kevin Crane and Oxenhandler.
Oxenhandler asked before Tuesday's election that his peers refrain from electing him to the position a second time.
"I think change is good. The nature of the court is having that rotation," Oxenhandler said. "I had the opportunity to accomplish a lot of good things."
Oxenhandler said that during his tenure the court was able to establish e-filing of cases in Callaway County, revamp bondsman procedures, address challenges with the public defender system and convert to an electronic library. Many of those projects started five years ago, he said.
"Those things came to fruition on my watch, but it takes all the judges, the supportive staff and county commission," he said.
Asel was elected by secret ballot at the Boone County Courthouse and will serve a two-year term that begins Jan. 31. Asel now represents the court's Division IV, which handles general civil and criminal dockets.
Asel also is president of the Missouri Circuit Judges' Association. She was appointed to the court in 1991 and has been re-elected several times since 1992.
Before becoming a judge, Asel served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Boone County. She is a graduate of the MU School of Law and earned an undergraduate degree at MU.
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