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Kayla Jackson-Williams sworn in as associate circuit judge

Kayla Jackson-Williams sworn in as associate circuit judge

In a courtroom filled with laughter and standing ovations, Kayla Jackson-Williams was sworn in Friday as an associate circuit court judge for the 13th Circuit Court.

She was publicly sworn in at the Boone County Courthouse and is the first Black judge in the county's history.

Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps Jr. swears in Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams

Magistrate Judge Willie Epps swears in Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams on Friday at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia. “My lived experiences are different,” she said. “But they aren’t wrong.”

Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams is embraced in a hug

Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams is embraced in a hug after being sworn in as the first Black judge in the 202-year history of the Boone County court system on Friday at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia. “My family is love,” Jackson-Williams said.

Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams addresses a crowd

Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams addresses a crowd of friends, family and colleagues Friday at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia. “I wanted to be a judge in our county because I wanted to be a change,” she said.

Rebecca Franklin puts a robe on her daughter

Rebecca Franklin, left, puts a robe on her daughter, Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams, while Jackson’s daughter, Makenzie, zips it up Friday at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia. Franklin said she felt this moment was a special one to witness and that it is “well deserved.”

Rebecca Franklin returns to her seat

Rebecca Franklin, mother of Judge Kayla Jackson-Williams, returns to her seat after receiving a bouquet of roses in honor of her birthday on Friday at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia. After watching her daughter become the first Black judge in Boone County history, Franklin said, “She’s amazing. She deserves it. I’m so, so proud.”

  • Assistant City Editor, spring 2023. Reach me at kristinkuchno@mail.missouri.edu.

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