Leader Blues

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TOP STORY >>McCastlain will oppose Whiteaker

Prosecuting Attorney Lona Horn McCastlain of Cabot is running for circuit judge, Second Division of the 23rd Judicial District in Lonoke County.

She’s challenging Judge Phillip Whiteaker, who is seeking a fourth term.

In making her announcement, McCastlain said, “I am excited about the opportunity of serving as a circuit judge. Having practiced in every court in Lonoke County and many courts throughout the state, I understand the absolute necessity of a fair and impartial judge. I have instilled in those who work with me the importance of maintaining the integrity of the judicial system.”

McCastlain expounded on that concept by saying, “Every person who enters the courtroom has the right to have his or her case heard fairly and objectively. Each case must be decided based on the law applied to the facts.”

As a prosecutor, McCastlain said that she has “worked diligently to protect our system of justice by ensuring that the people and the defendant receive a fair trial.”

McCastlain added, “I will guarantee the people of Lonoke County that I will continue to ensure that justice is served in the courtroom. After prosecuting hundreds of cases and being in the courtoom for 14 years, I am ready for the bench.”

McCastlain was born and raised in Cabot and is the daughter of Geraldine and the late Dean Horn. In 1985, McCastlain married Lt. Col. Bruce McCastlain, who is serving in Iraq.

The couple has a 6-year-old son, Max.

McCastlain graduated from Arkansas State University with a bachelor of science in education and later the Seattle University Law School. After graduation, she returned to Arkansas and worked as a deputy prosecutor in White County before starting her private practice in Cabot in 1995. McCastlain practiced in virtually every area of the law with a strong emphasis in domestic relations and business law. She was voted the best sttorney in Lonoke County for three separate years.

In 1999, McCastlain became the first elected female prosecutor in Arkansas and is the only female elected prosecutor in the state.

McCastlain has tried many high-profile cases. In 2001, McCastlain was one of only 23 prosecutors in the nation to be singled out for recognition by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

McCastlain has served on the Arkansas Sex Offenders Assessment Commission since she was appointed by the governor in 1999.

The commission implements rules and regulations governing risk assessment of sex offenders and drafts proposed legislation governing sex offenders.

McCastlain’s office spearheaded bringing the Child Advocacy Center to Lonoke County to enhance the investigation and prosecutions of child physical and sexual abuse. She was also instrumental in organizing a drug court- treatment program in Lonoke County.

McCastlain is a member of First Baptist Church in Cabot and is a member and past president of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce, a member and past president of the Lonoke County Bar Association, and a member of the Cabot Lions Club.
McCastlain is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and the National District Attorneys’ Association.