DiGre­gory sworn in as Kent Co.’s top prose­cu­tor

The Star Democrat - - LOCAL - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­[email protected]­coun­tynews.com

CHESTERTOWN — Prose­cu­tors Bryan DiGre­gory and Robert “Bobby” Mow­ell swapped seats Mon­day morn­ing, Jan. 7.

Dur­ing a brief cer­e­mony at Kent County Cir­cuit Court, DiGre­gory was sworn in as the county’s chief law en­force­ment of­fi­cer, a job he won in Novem­ber’s gen­eral elec­tion for state’s at­tor­ney.

He suc­ceeds Mow­ell, who had been the in­terim since ap­point­ment to the post in Sep­tem­ber 2017 when then-state’s at­tor­ney Har­ris Mur­phy as­cended to the bench as Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s choice for cir­cuit court judge.

Mow­ell, who did not seek elec­tion in Novem­ber, now is DiGre­gory’s deputy.

Chloe Camp­bell re­mains the as­sis­tant state’s at­tor­ney.

Mow­ell and Camp­bell also were sworn in Mon­day.

Judge Mur­phy, who won elec­tion to a 15-year term in Novem­ber, presided.

“The duty of a prose­cu­tor is to seek jus­tice, not just con­vic­tions,” Mur­phy said from the bench.

The judge said he was con­fi­dent DiGre­gory would up­hold the mis­sion of serv­ing jus­tice. He also con­grat­u­lated Kent County for hav­ing elected DiGre­gory as state’s at­tor­ney.

Kent County At­tor­ney Tom Yea­ger, Dis­trict Court Judge John E. Nunn III and sev­eral other lawyers, in­clud­ing Mow­ell’s fa­ther, Mitch, sat in the jury box.

In the gallery were friends, clerk’s of­fice staff and col­leagues, in­clud­ing pub­lic de­fender Matt Em­mick, Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney Lance Richard­son, for­mer Kent state’s at­tor­ney Susanne Hay­man and two mem­bers of the county’s drug task force.

For the for­mal swear­ing-in cer­e­mony, DiGre­gory, 55, stood in­side the rail, which sep­a­rates of­fi­cers of the court from the pub­lic. He re­cited the oath as ad­min­is­tered by Clerk of the Court Mark Mumford.

Molly DiGre­gory, whose birth­day was Mon­day, held the Bi­ble for her fa­ther. An­other daugh­ter, Kate, and DiGre­gory’s in-laws, Judy and Rob McS­par­ran of Chestertown, also were in­side the rail.

DiGre­gory said his wife Anne was un­able to at­tend be­cause she was out of the coun­try on a busi­ness trip.

At the con­clu­sion of the cer­e­mony, DiGre­gory shook hands with Mumford and Mur­phy.

He then signed the test book.

Sep­a­rate swear­ing-in cer­e­monies fol­lowed for Mow­ell and Camp­bell. They fol­lowed the same script as DiGre­gor y — recit­ing the oath, re­ceiv­ing con­grat­u­la­tions from the judge and the clerk, and sign­ing the test book.

Court was then ad­journed. By de­sign, the cir­cuit court docket was light Mon­day. There was only one case, a guilty plea to drug charges that was taken by Mow­ell.

In an email Mon­day af­ter­noon, DiGre­gory said he and Mow­ell han­dle the more se­ri­ous cases. Camp­bell’s caseload cur­rently is pri­mar­ily in dis­trict court, where traf­fic cases and mis­de­meanor crim­i­nal cases are tried.

Mov­ing for­ward, “the plan is for the three of us to ro­tate through dis­trict court and fol­low cases up from dis­trict to cir­cuit,” DiGre­gory wrote in the email.

DiGre­gory is a grad­u­ate of Wi­dener Univer­sity Delaware Law School. He has about 20 years of crim­i­nal trial ex­pe­ri­ence, which in­cludes work­ing as a pub­lic de­fender in Penn­syl­va­nia and Queen Anne’s County.

He has lived in the Chestertown area for more than 10 years.

Mow­ell grew up near Chestertown, on the other side of the Ch­ester River in the Deep Land­ing area, and at­tended Queen Anne’s County pub­lic schools through­out.

He is a 2006 grad­u­ate of Wash­ing­ton and Lee Univer­sity in Lex­ing­ton, Va., and a cum laude grad­u­ate of the Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more School of Law.

He be­came the Kent County as­sis­tant state’s at­tor­ney in March 2016, brought on board by then chief prose­cu­tor Har­ris Mur­phy.

A Ce­cil County na­tive, Camp­bell grad­u­ated in De­cem­ber 2016 from Wi­dener law school and took the Mary­land bar exam the fol­low­ing Fe­bru­ary. She joined the Kent County prose­cu­tor’s of­fice in Oc­to­ber 2017.

PHOTO BY TR­ISH MCGEE

With old­est daugh­ter Molly hold­ing the Bi­ble, Bryan DiGre­gory is sworn in as Kent County State’s At­tor­ney on Mon­day. Cir­cuit Court Judge Har­ris Mur­phy pre­sides. Clerk of the Court Mark Mumford ad­min­is­ters the oath of of­fice. Also par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cer­e­mony are DiGre­gory’s younger daugh­ter, Kate, and his in-laws, Judy and Bob McS­par­ran of Chestertown.

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