Judge Taylor Heaton sworn in to preside over Smith County 475th District Court
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A judge has been sworn into the new 475th District Court in Smith County. Judge Taylor Heaton is now presiding over the new courtroom. Governor Greg Abbott appointed Heaton to the court in early December.
Heaton has served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Smith County District Attorney’s Office for over 12 years.
This is the first time in 38 years that Smith County has welcomed a new district court since the creation of the 321st District Court in 1985.
The court will handle felony cases, and juvenile cases, the offenders which Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said are the ones that have the most hope of rehabilitation.
“It’s a court that’s going to handle two different extremes. Both people who need to be punished and people who need to be turned around and saved,” Putman said.
As Smith County continues to grow, there’s been a need for another courtroom to keep cases going through.
Heaton, his wife, and three children stood by his side as he took the oath.
“It is the honor of my life to be able to preside over the juvenile court. I look forward to speaking into their life and helping put parents back in the rightful place as parents over the juveniles that come in front of my court,” Heaton said. “A core value that I have, and that our court has had in the County Court at Law #2 is that what we do professionally affects people very personally.”
Heaton is also a member of the State Bar of Texas and served in different roles for the Smith County Young Lawyers Association.
The term is set to expire on December 31, 2024, or until his successor is duly elected and qualified.
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