Gov. Cooper names pick for Mecklenburg County’s next district attorney

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday he will appoint Spencer Merriweather to serve as District Attorney for Mecklenburg County once current District Attorney Andrew Murray has vacated the job.

Murray has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination last week and it now moves before the full Senate for consideration, according to a statement sent out Oct. 26 by Republican Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr.

“Spencer brings to this position more than a decade of experience in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office,” Cooper said in a statement. “His comprehensive legal background and commitment to serving North Carolinians will allow him to excel as District Attorney.”

After earning a law degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Merriweather joined the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office as a felony trial attorney. He has prosecuted robberies, drug trafficking, and domestic violence cases for more than 10 years, said a statement from the state.

Merriweather is an advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and serves as a member of the board of Safe Alliance. He is also the incoming president of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation Board.

“I readily accept the challenge of leading an office of more than 80 prosecutors and 50 support staff that seeks to protect and restore our neighbors,” said Merriweather in a statement. “Our community is wide and varied, and its needs are ever-changing. Challenges on the horizon demand we bolster relationships with community partners and do more to earn the trust of all of our residents as we seek justice on their behalf...I look forward to engaging all corners of our county in a justice system that works for everyone.”

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney seat has been held by Andrew Murray since 2011. Merriweather’s appointment will be made official upon Murray’s U.S. Senate confirmation as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

“If I am fortunate enough to receive confirmation from the U.S. Senate, the District Attorney’s Office will need a strong leader to ensure that the office continues to fight for justice for this community,” Murray said in a statement. “I am grateful for the Governor’s selection. Mr. Merriweather has the prosecutorial experience, leadership skills and the heart for community service necessary to do the job.”