Spencer Merriweather Sworn In as New Mecklenburg County District Attorney
CHARLOTTE, NC – Mecklenburg County’s new District Attorney is promising to stand up for victims of burglaries, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
Spencer Merriweather is also the first African-American to lead the DA’s office.
“The responsibility is heavy, as it would be for any person elected to this office,” Merriweather says.
He has spent 11 years as a Mecklenburg County Assistant DA.
“He’s supervised teams, he’s been on the drug team, he’s been on the habitual felony team, he’s been on homicide teams,” explains Charlotte defense attorney Mark Jetton.
Jetton says Merriweather can leverage his experience while still bringing a fresh perspective.
“He knows all the individuals who work over there, he’s got a rapport with them. That’s going to help him,” Jetton says.
Merriweather takes over for Andrew Murray, who President Trump appointed as a U.S. Attorney.
Murray spent his tenure working to turn around the perception of the office, with an effort to be more transparent and visible in the community.
“It is extremely important that we do everything we can to raise public confidence,” Merriweather says.
Charlotte defense attorney George Laughrun expects a smooth transition, though he says Merriweather will likely look to put his own brand on the DA’s office.
“I’ve tried cases with Spencer, he’s an excellent lawyer, very ethical, he’s going to fight for his client which is the state of North Carolina,” Laughrun explains.
Also important will be the relationship with CMPD and the tough calls that come with the job of top prosecutor.
“When there’s an officer-involved shooting or an officer-involved use of force he’ll have to make that decision and I think he’s got the independence to make that decision,” Laughrun says.
Merriweather is a graduate of Princeton University. He got his law degree at UNC Chapel Hill.
Governor Cooper appointed him to serve the rest of Andrew Murray’s term, which expires after next year.
After that, voters will elect the next District Attorney, a position which lasts four years.