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.
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.
Phyllis Emerick, 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.
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.
Derrick Mason, Deputy Public Defender
Received both his BS and JD from Indiana University-Bloomington. He has worked in private practice in Lake County, and was the Staff Attorney for the Monroe County Department of Child Services prior to joining the Monroe County Public Defender Office in 2007.
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.
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.
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.
Noah Williams, Deputy Pubilc 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.
David Collins, Deputy Public Defender
Kara Hancuff, Deputy Public Defender
Deborah, Executive Assistant
Joined the Monroe County Public Defender staff in 2000, with 2 years of undergraduate, as well as 30 years of clerical and administrative work experience.
Heather, Senior Legal Secretary
Joined the Monroe County Public Defender staff in 2009.
Johnna, Legal Secretary
Rebecca, 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.
Received his B.A. in History from the University of Tennessee in 2004. Received his JD from the Indiana Universtiy Maurer School of Law in 2011. Admitted to practice in Tennessee October 2011. Joined the Public Defender's office in October 2012.
Born in Columbus, Indiana. He received a B.A. from Indiana University Bloomington in 2009. In 2012, he received a JD from the University of Georgia School of Law and was admitted to the Indiana Bar. The same year, he began working for the Monroe County Public Defender.
Attended Vincennes University. Employeed with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office from 1988 to 2009. Former Detective. Former Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Instructor Retired as patrol Sergeant.
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 th Public Defender's office in 2011.