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Attorneys

The attorneys' role is identical to that of a privately retained attorney. Public Defenders are governed by the same regulations and ethical obligations as privately retained attorneys.

Michael Hunt, Chief Public Defender
Admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1969. Engaged in private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana until joining the Monroe County Prosecutor’s office as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney from 1970-1972.  In 1972, the Tippecanoe County Public Defender’s office was established, with Mr. Hunt as the Chief Public Defender.  In March 1973, the Monroe County Public Defender Office was established, and Mr. Hunt has been the Chief Public Defender since that time.

Michael Spencer, Chief Deputy Public Defender
Born in Caracas, Venezuela.  He received a BS from Indiana University in 1970 and a JD from the Indiana University School of Law in 1973. That same year he was admitted to the Indiana Bar and to practice before the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.  He has been with the Monroe County Public Defender Office since 1991.

Phyllis Emerick, First Deputy Public Defender
Admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1985; also admitted to practice before U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana.  Joined the Monroe County Public Defender Office in 1992.

Stuart Baggerly, Deputy Public Defender
Received his JD in 1989 from the University of Indiana Law School.  Admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1990.  Joined the Monroe County Public Defender Office in 2000.  Mr. Baggerly received his BA degree in Sociology from Indiana University in 1984.  Mr. Baggerly has extensive trial experience having practiced as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in both Owen and Morgan counties for 3 years. 

Leneigha Downs, Deputy Public Defender
Received her JD in 1987 from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, IN. Admitted to the Indiana Bar 1987. Served as Law Clerk to the Honorable V. Sue Shields and as Indiana Deputy Attorney General under Linley Pearson from 1991-1993. Admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1993. Served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Franklin County, Missouri from 1993-1995. Private practice criminal and civil law in Union, Missouri from 1995-2009. Served as the Municipal Judge for the City of Union, Missouri from 1997-2009. Joined the Monroe County Public Defender in 2009.  Admitted to the Hawai'i Bar in June 2015.

Kara Hancuff, Deputy Public Defender

Tonja Kinder, Deputy Public Defender
Admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1991.  Ms. Kinder worked in private practice from 1991 to 1993, and as a part-time Deputy Prosecuting Attorney handling child support cases.  From 1993-2002, she worked for the Family and Social Services Administration in the Marion County Office of Family and Children doing Child in Need of Services and termination of the parent-child relationship cases.  Ms. Kinder joined the Monroe County Public Defender Office in 2002.

Kara Krothe, Deputy Public Defender
Received a BA from Smith College and a JD from the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington.  Joined the Monroe County Public Defender Office January, 2004.

Jason Meredith, Deputy Public Defender
Received a BA from Indiana University and a JD from the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.  Joined the Monroe County Public Defender Office in 2001.

Jeremy M. Noel, Deputy Public Defender
Received a BA in English from Purdue University in 2005.  Received a JD from Indiana University School of Law in 2008.  Mr. Noel was admitted to the Indiana bar in 2008.  Jeremy previously worked as a paralegal in this office.

Amy Payne, Deputy Public Defender
Received a BA in Psychology from Indiana University in 2006.  Received a JD from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2010.  Ms. Payne was admitted to the Indiana bar in 2010.  Amy previously worked as a paralegal in this office.
 
Noah Williams, Deputy Public Defender
Received his JD from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and his BA in Spanish from Lyon College.  Noah has worked in the Public Defender's office since 2009, first as a student intern, and then for two years as a paralegal.

Karen Wrenbeck, Deputy Public Defender
Received a BS in French & Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan in 2009. Received a JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2012. Admitted to practice law in Michigan in 2012 and Indiana in 2013. Joined the Monroe County Public Defender Office in February 2014.


Support Staff

Heather, Executive Assistant
Joined the Monroe County Public Defender staff in 2009.

Johnna, Legal Secretary

Rebecca, Senior Legal Secretary

Tiffany, Legal Secretary

Cindy, Sr. Paralegal
Received a BA in Sociology from St. Joseph's College and a JD from the Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington.  Before studying law, she worked as a probation officer, and community resource specialist.

Isabella, Paralegal

Karen, Paralegal

Kyle Dugger, Paralegal
Received a BA in Journalism with a concentration in English from Indiana Univeristy Bloomington in 2012.  Received a JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and admitted to practice in 2015.  Joined the Public Defender's Office in October 2015.

Molly Turner-King, Attorney

Rex, Investigator
Attended Vincennes University.  Employed with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office from 1988 to 2009.  Former Detective.  Former Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Instructor and - Retired as patrol Sergeant.

Jayson, Investigator
Received an A.D. in Law Enforcement from Vincennes University in 1998 and graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 2002.  Served with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office for 12 years, where he was a Field Training Officer, Operation Pull Over Grant Coordinator, Certified Breath Test Operator, and a member of the Bloomington Police Department CIRT Team.  Joined the Public Defender's office in 2011.

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