Katrina Watson named Meck chief magistrate

Katrina Watson, a member of the judicial system in the Charlotte area for nearly two decades, has been named chief magistrate for the judicial district covering Mecklenburg County.

Watson’s appointment was announced last week by Chief District Court Judge Regan Miller.

Watson has been a magistrate in Mecklenburg County since 1995. Prior to that, she was an attorney in Illinois, and she served as a law clerk before that.

As a Mecklenburg magistrate, Watson has conducted criminal and civil hearings, has issued arrest warrants, search warrants, domestic violence orders and involuntary commitments. She also has served as a guardian ad litem and has taught criminal law and procedure at Central Piedmont Community College

“These experiences have given me the opportunity to work closely with the courts, law enforcement and the citizens of Mecklenburg County,” Watson said.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., and her law degree from UNC Chapel Hill in 1991. She moved to Charlotte from Illinois in 1993.

Magistrates are appointed by senior judges to two-year terms. They have the authority to accept guilty pleas in minor misdemeanors; accept waivers and guilty pleas on some littering, wildlife, boating and state park and recreation and alcoholic beverage violations; and accept trial waivers in worthless check cases in which the check was for $2,000 or less.