Justin David Crocker
40, Franklin Road Russellville, Kentucky
How long have you lived in the community?
My family moved to our dairy farm on Franklin Road in Russellville in 1989. I left home in 1997 to attend college and law school. After graduating from law school, I returned to Russellville in 2005 and have lived in the area since.
What organizations are you involved with, including how long and roles?
List civic groups, charities, churches, etc... and any leadership roles you’ve served (i.e. Salvation Army board member from 2003-present - treasurer, past-president).
Member of Holstein Association from 1989 to 2014. Member of Dairy Herd Improvement Association from 1989 to 2014. Member of 4H from 1989 to 1994. Member of FFA from 1994 to 1997, chapter vice president in 1997. Member of Kentucky Bar Association from 2006 to present. Member of American Bar Association from 2006 to present. Member of Growing Up Safe (G.U.S.) Multi-Disciplinary Team from 2011 to present. Member of Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Association from 2011 to present. Member of National District Attorneys Association from 2011 to present. Attend New Vision Community Church in Russellville, Kentucky.
Tell us about your professional experience.
Summer 2003 - Summer Extern for Fayette County Bar Association Pro Bono Program in Lexington, Kentucky.
Summer 2004 - Summer Law Clerk for Judge Tyler L. Gill, 7th Judicial Circuit
From 2006 - 2008 - Victim Advocate and Advocacy Services Coordinator for Barren River Area Safe Space in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
From 2008 - 2011 - Staff Attorney for Department of Public Advocacy in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
From 2011 - October 5, 2017 - Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for 7th Judicial Circuit.
From October 5, 2017 - Present - Appointed as Special Prosecutor by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear to be the Acting Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit.
Tell us about your education.
Attended Auburn Elementary and Junior High School in Auburn, Kentucky.
Graduated from Logan County High School in Russellville, Kentucky in 1997.
Graduated from University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky in 2001 with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics.
Graduated from Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia in 2005 with a Juris Doctorate Degree.
Completed over 90 hours of Continuing Legal Education in the past 3 years, with specialization in criminal law and criminal prosecution.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?
My greatest personal accomplishment occurred last year when my wife Kristi and I were able to purchase our own small farm. Having grown up on a family owned dairy farm, it was very important to me to raise our 3 children Landon, Grayson, and Lylah Jane in a similar setting.
My greatest professional accomplishment occurred earlier this year, when our office successfully tried and obtained convictions for Murder and Tampering With Physical Evidence against George Walker for murdering his sister-in-law Allison Walker and dumping her body in the Red River. After a lengthy trial, the jury imposed the maximum number of years possible by recommending a 55 year prison sentence to be served.
What are the two biggest problems facing the community/county?
1) The most obvious answer is the drug epidemic plaguing our communities. Methamphetamine and opioid addiction has greatly increased the crime rates in Logan and Todd Counties. Not just an increase in the crimes of drug possession and trafficking, but also increases in theft and burglary offenses, violent offenses, and sex offenses. I hope to continue to address these issues by balancing the need for punishment vs. the need for treatment depending on the charge and circumstances of the offense.
2) My personal issue that I would like to see addressed is the lack of a suitable mental health system in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. There are not enough adequate mental health treatment facilities or other structured environments to house people suffering from mental health ailments in our communities. We very frequently have defendants in Logan and Todd Circuit Courts that have clear mental health issues underlying their criminal behavior. In some of these cases prison may not necessarily be appropriate and would not treat the underlying issues, however those same issues clearly make them a danger to themselves or the public if released back into society. In most of those types of cases we have dealt with, this has left prison as the only viable option.
What are your biggest campaign issues/goals?
1) The need an increase in use of technology within the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. We have already started the process of implementing e-filing in our office to increase efficiency and reduce paper waste and costs to taxpayers. I have also looked into an electronic file management system to allow our office to manage our numerous files more efficiently.
2) I would like for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to have a greater presence and increased availability in the communities. This includes a greater physical presence at local community events. We have already looked into creating a Facebook page or a website to increase our social media presence and our availability to the public. I have looked into the possibility of creating regular “office hours” in Todd County so that victims of crimes in Todd County will not be required to travel to Logan County to meet with the prosecutor handling their case. Finally, I would intend to obtain and create an “on-call” system for our office which would include a cellular telephone that each employee of our office would be assigned shifts to carry the cellular telephone outside of our office hours to make our office more available to the public, but more specifically more available to law enforcement officers, at all times.
3) I would like to continue to strengthen working relationships with law enforcement agencies and other community agencies, including scheduling regular meetings with department heads, the agencies as a whole, or in a multi-disciplinary setting to increase collaboration among agencies and to improve lines of communication on cases.
Why should someone vote for you?
People should vote for me for my experience. I have seen the courtroom from many perspectives. I have seen the perspective of a Judge from the bench, I have seen the perspective of a victim of a crime, I have seen the perspective of a defendant and defense attorney, and now I see the perspective as a prosecutor.
Furthermore, I have been doing the job in this office and in the 7th Judicial Circuit for almost 7 years. I am very familiar with the past, current, and future case loads. I am familiar with and have built strong working relationships with the local court systems and those who work within those systems, including the county attorney’s offices, court designated workers, private attorneys, local jails and jailers, district and circuit clerk’s offices, pretrial services, and the Office of Probation and Parole. I have also maintained strong working relationships with all local law enforcement agencies that operate within Logan and Todd Counties, as well as other agencies in our area such as the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Logan and Todd County Health Departments, local schools, and many more.
I am currently doing the job of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Logan and Todd Counties. I know what works. But more importantly I also know what doesn’t work. I have already begun to implement ideas to improve those issues, and I have many more ideas that I believe will improve our office going forward, in order to make our office more available and more productive for the citizens of Logan and Todd Counties.