State se­na­tor, for­mer Ce­cil pros­e­cu­tor seek Har­ford judge­ship

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— Sev­eral peo­ple with Ce­cil County con­nec­tions are among the 12 ap­pli­cants for a new Har­ford County Cir­cuit Court judge­ship.

Among the can­di­dates are Ker­win A. Miller, who served as a Ce­cil County pros­e­cu­tor from 2006 through May 2015, and H. Wayne Nor­man Jr., a Bel Air-based lawyer who, as a state se­na­tor for Dis­trict 35, rep­re­sents western Ce­cil County along with a large por­tion of Har­ford County.

The Har­ford County Ju­di­cial Nom­i­nat­ing Com­mis­sion an­nounced the ap­pli­cants, three of whom are holdovers from the pre­vi­ous ju­di­cial nom­i­nat­ing process, af­ter last week’s dead­line for fil­ing for the judge­ship.

Now Miller, Nor­man and the other 10 ap­pli­cants will go through an in­volved nom­i­nat­ing process that ul­ti­mately will lead to a “short list” of fi­nal­ists land­ing on the desk of Gov. Larry Ho­gan, who will make a ju­di­cial ap­point­ment af­ter in­ter­view­ing them.

Dur­ing his nine years with the Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, Miller suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted de­fen­dants in sev­eral high-pro­file mur­der cases.

Most no­tably, per­haps,

BEL AIR

Miller suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted three men and a teen who forced their way into a Ch­e­sa­peake City-area home in Novem­ber 2009 and, dur­ing the process of the armed rob­bery, gunned down 40-year-old Terri Ann McCoy.

Miller held the ti­tles of deputy state’s at­tor­ney, or sec­ond-in-com­mand, and chief homi­cide pros­e­cu­tor dur­ing his last seven years in Ce­cil County af­ter serv­ing his first two as an as­sis­tant state’s at­tor­ney.

Miller left the Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice in May 2015 be­cause he was hired to be a Mary­land ad­min­is­tra­tive law judge, a po­si­tion that takes him to ju­ris­dic­tions through­out the state to hear and rule on ap­peals in cases in which the ex­ec­u­tive branch of the gov­ern­ment has made a de­ci­sion.

The long list of le­gal mat­ters ad­dressed in­cludes per­son­nel mat­ters, hand­gun per­mits and li­cens­ing.

Miller, who has been prac­tic­ing law for 16 years, gained in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence as a Ce­cil County pros­e­cu­tor, he said. That ex­pe­ri­ence is one of the rea­sons he would serve well as a judge, Miller added.

“The main thing is, whether it’s Ce­cil County or Har­ford County, these are crim­i­nal-heavy dock­ets. Prose­cut­ing was in­cred­i­bly ben­e­fi­cial to me be­cause I have the back­ground and the ex­pe­ri­ence,” Miller said, ad­ding, “I gained im­mea­sur­able ex­pe­ri­ence as a pros­e­cu­tor in Ce­cil County.”

Nor­man, mean­while, has been op­er­at­ing a pri­vate law of­fice in Bel Air for about 31 years, af­ter spend­ing the first four years of his ca­reer as an as­so­ciate at­tor­ney. He passed the Mary­land bar exam in 1981, af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the Uni­ver­sity of Baltimore School of Law.

He doesn’t spe­cial­ize, which, Nor­man be­lieves, should help him as a judge.

“I take what­ever comes through the door, ex­cept for work­men’s comp cases,” Nor­man said. “Ev­ery lawyer with a prac­tice is go­ing to han­dle di­vorces, crim­i­nal stuff and ac­ci­dent cases. But I also do mechanic’s lien cases, which are only heard in cir­cuit court.”

The same is true for other le­gal mat­ters han­dled by Nor­man, in­clud­ing or­phans’ court cases, guardian­ships, home­own­ers’ as- so­ci­a­tion in­junc­tions and de novo ap­peals, he added.

As for his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, Nor­man, who is a Repub­li­can, was ap­pointed to a state del­e­gate po­si­tion in 2008 to fill a spot va­cated by fel­low Har­ford Coun­tian Barry Glass­man, who left be­cause he had been ap­pointed to an open State Se­nate seat. Nor­man went on to win a four-year term as del­e­gate in 2010.

Then, af­ter Glass­man was elected to the Har­ford County ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion, Nor­man ran for Glass­man’s open se­nate seat in the 2014 gen­eral elec­tion and won.

Nor­man serves in sev­eral ca­pac­i­ties as a state se­na­tor, in­clud­ing as a mem­ber of the Ju­di­cial Pro­ceed­ings Com­mit­tee, the Joint Com­mit­tee on Leg­isla­tive Ethics and — of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to Ce­cil County res­i­dents — the Bain­bridge De­vel­op­ment Ad­vi­sory Board.

“I love be­ing in the se­nate, but I’ve been a lawyer since 1981. I think ev­ery lawyer would want to end his ca­reer as a judge,” Nor­man said.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

State Sen. Wayne Nor­man (R-Har­ford/Ce­cil) looks on dur­ing the start of the 2016 Gen­eral Assem­bly. He is now in con­sid­er­a­tion for a Har­ford County Cir­cuit Court judge­ship.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

For­mer Ce­cil County pros­e­cu­tor Ker­win Miller is among those in the run­ning for an open Har­ford County Cir­cuit Court seat.

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