It was a packed courtroom for Jennifer Bray’s investiture ceremony at the Marshall County Courthouse on Friday, Jan. 20. Bray made history when she was sworn in as the county’s first ever female district attorney.
Judge Mitch Floyd opened the ceremony, using words like “smart,” “articulate” and “organized” to describe the new D.A.
“We made a good choice,” Judge Floyd told the gallery. “Jennifer came flying in, guns blazing, and tried a case on her very first day… She takes on hard cases and tough tasks and she does what’s right.”
Judge Floyd closed by reiterating how grateful he was “that we made a really good choice” and prayed over Bray before turning the floor over to retired Judge Tim Jolley.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to stand her at this celebration and talk about Jennifer for a minute,” Judge Jolley said.
He went on to give a brief background of the new D.A., including that she is originally from Semmes, Ala., in Mobile County, and graduated from the University of Alabama with honors after only three years in 2010. She was then accepted into Cumberland School of Law, where she earned her juris doctorate degree, and immediately went to work in the public defender’s office as an assistant public defender in Tuscaloosa.
In 2014, Bray relocated to Marshall County and was hired by Steve Marshall, now the attorney general for the state, as the felony sex crimes prosecutor in the district attorney’s office.
“In 2014, I was a circuit judge, known for being a bit of a stickler,” Judge Jolley said. “I enjoyed when Jennifer was in the courtroom. No one will work harder, no one will know the law better, no one will try a case better than Jennifer Bray.”
Judge Chris Abel administered the oath of office, while Bray stood with her husband, Bert, and two children, Hattie and Penn.
Bray then took the time to thank her family, friends and the community members who helped get her elected, as well as her “work family.” She expressed gratitude for the “dedicated prosecutors” who make up the D.A.’s office, as well as investigators Jimmy Miller and John Young, and Marshall County law enforcement, who Bray said are a “very special group of men and women” with whom she honored to work.
“We all have a respect and camaraderie that runs deep, which is necessary for ys to do our jobs well,” she said. “I hope to grow those relationships.”
Bray told her supporters gathered in the courtroom on Friday that she will work diligently for them while in office.
“Being your D.A. is not something I take lightly.”
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