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White sworn in as first female judge in Halifax County

Barely three years after Joel C. Cunningham was sworn in as the first African-American Circuit Judge for the 10th Judicial Circuit, former Commonwealth’s Attorney Kimberly Slayton White was sworn in Tuesday as its first female judge.

The 10th Judicial Circuit includes circuit courts in the counties of Halifax, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Prince Edward.

Chief Judge Leslie M. Osborn and Presiding Judge Joel C. Cunningham currently serve Halifax Circuit Court and the 10th Judicial Circuit, and White fills a vacancy on the bench created when Judge Richard S. Blanton retired.

An appointment has yet to be made to a vacancy on the bench in Halifax Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, an opening created when Michael Rand retired earlier this year.

White, along with circuit court judges Leslie M. Osborn and Joel C. Cunningham are expected to confer and fill that vacancy.

White thanked friends and family for attending the swearing-in ceremony Thursday afternoon.

“A formal investiture will follow in the next 30 days to which the general public is invited,” White added.

Judge Ellen White, White’s sister-in-law who sits as a juvenile and domestic relations court judge in the 24th Judicial Circuit, helped White don the robe of office.

White has served as Commonwealth’s Attorney for Halifax County since 2004 and prior to that as an assistant and deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Lynchburg.

She was also a special assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

Judge Cunningham swore in former Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Freshour as acting commonwealth’s attorney on Tuesday.

“I’m excited to take on the role of commonwealth’s attorney and look forward to meeting the citizens of Halifax County in the future and protecting the interests of victims of crime,” Freshour said Thursday.

Freshour has been a deputy commonwealth’s attorney for seven and a half years and served as a public defender for three and a half years prior to that.

A Halifax County resident since 2001, Freshour currently lives in South Boston with his wife, Melissa Fraser, and their four children.