5 more file for judgeships, 1 more for DA

Feb. 11, 2014 @ 04:33 PM

Durham attorney Brian Aus has entered the race for district attorney, guaranteeing at least a two-person contest for the office. Five more candidates have filed for Durham District Court judgeships.
Aus, 59, filed Monday as a Democrat. The other contender so far is Roger Echols, chief assistant prosecutor in the Durham County District Attorney’s Office.
A criminal defense attorney, Aus announced his intention last month to file.
Aus said the prosecutor’s office should be more open about its business. He said he was disturbed by two cases the DA’s office handled in recent years. One was the so-called “bag of bones” case where a judge accused the prosecutor’s office, Durham police and medical examiner’s office of conspiring to destroy evidence.
The other was the 2006 Duke University lacrosse case that Aus said involved a “rush to judgment” by then-District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was removed from office and disbarred for prosecutorial misconduct.
In the nonpartisan judicial races, Durham attorney Henry Pruette is challenging incumbent Durham District Court Judge Doretta Walker, who also filed for another term.
Pruette says on his website that he’s practiced law for 24 years, “extensively in District Court.”
“I understand District Court,” he said. “I know the complexities of the cases, the emotions involved, and the importance of making a reasoned decision.”
Walker was elected to the court in 2010, defeating Freda Black in the general election.  She received her undergraduate degree in psychology and criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990 and her law degree from the UNC School of Law in 1993.
Walker is a former assistant district attorney in Durham and judicial clerk to the N.C. Court of Appeals.
Other judicial filings include:
- Marcia Morey, chief District Court judge in Durham. She filed Tuesday for a fifth term, and has run unopposed each time. She received her undergraduate degree from Millikin University in Illinois, a master’s degree in teaching from Reed College and a law degree from Northwestern School of Law.
Before serving on the District Court bench, Morey was an Olympic swimmer and coach, journalist and assistant district attorney in Durham.
- Pat Evans. She was sworn in as a District Court judge on Jan. 1, 2011. Evans received her undergraduate and law degrees from N.C. Central University. Before serving on the bench, Evans practiced law in Durham County for 26 years, four as assistant district attorney in Durham.
- Brian Wilks. He received a political science degree in 1993 from the University of South Carolina in Columbia and his law degree in 1996 from N.C. Central University.
Wilks has been an assistant public defender in Durham, an adjunct professor at NCCU and an assistant attorney general. He’s served as a District Court judge since 2008.
Candidate filing began Monday and ends at noon Feb. 28. A primary election will be held May 6, and the general election is Nov. 4.