Voters choose Paul Boyd for prosecutor

Wednesday, August 7, 2002

BENTON, Mo. -- Scott County voters chose a candidate with experience and a working knowledge of the prosecutor's role to fill the post as the county's first full-time prosecuting attorney.

Paul Boyd defeated Frank Marshall by a 58-vote margin in Tuesday's primary election. Boyd earned 2,186 votes; Marshall received 2,128.

Vote totals included absentee ballots cast, but were unofficial totals. Only 23 percent of the county's 26,800 registered voters cast ballots in the election.

Boyd faces no opposition in the November general election. Both men ran on the Democratic ticket.

Boyd said he expects an easy transition when he takes office next year.

He is already working in the prosecutor's office as an assistant prosecutor and knows about current cases.

"I'm on top of the cases, and we have three murder cases right now," he said.

He expects the office to continue with its current load and intends to hire two full-time assistants to carry that workload.

"The biggest difference will be hiring a lead prosecutor," he said.

Boyd has been an assistant prosecutor since 1996. He also worked as a roving prosecutor in the Bootheel for methamphetamine cases from 1997 to 2001.

He has experience as both a public defender and assistant attorney general.

Experience was the key issue in the race. While many Scott County residents have criticized the prosecuting attorney's office during Cristy Baker-Neel's tenure, Boyd said he isn't afraid of the courtroom. He's conducted 30 trials in 10 years and has a 25-5 record.

His opponent, Frank Marshall, had no trial experience, Boyd said.

Was party's choice in '92

Marshall is a Sikeston, Mo., lawyer. He was the party's recommendation to replace David Dolan in the prosecutor's office when Dolan was appointed to the circuit court in 1992.

Baker-Neel was chosen instead and later defeated Marshall in the 1994 primary. She ran unopposed in 1996.

Marshall has his own law practice for 20 years and is a part-time municipal judge.

Phone calls to Marshall were not returned Tuesday.

Scott County voters approved making prosecuting attorney a full-time position last year.

Also in Tuesday's election, voters elected two associate circuit judges, a presiding commissioner, circuit court clerk, county clerk, recorder of deeds and collector.

All were unopposed incumbents.

ljohnston@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 126

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