JDC Circuit Judge elected chair of Mississippi Commission

Published 4:44 am Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Jefferson Davis County Circuit Court Judge Brad A. Touchstone was recently elected as chairman of the Mississippi Commission on a Uniform Youth Court System and Procedures.

Lee County Court Judge Staci Bevill of Tupelo was elected vice-chair and Madison County Court Judge Staci O’Neal of Madison was elected secretary during the Commission’s organizational meeting on Aug. 31 at the Capitol.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph appointed Circuit Judge Brad A. Touchstone of Purvis and Chancellor Gerald M. Martin of Raleigh to the Commission. Martin is also a judge in Jefferson Davis County, serving the Chancery Court.

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The Commission began discussions of whether to make changes to the existing youth court system, potential costs and what is in the best interests of the children who come under the supervision of the Youth Courts.

The Commission is expected to submit a report to the Legislature in October 2024. Next scheduled meetings of the Commission are Sept. 22 and Oct. 19. The 2023 Legislature reconstituted the Commission in House Bill 1149. The legislation called for appointment of a 21-member study commission.

Gov. Reeves appointed Judge Touchstone to a vacancy on the 15th Circuit Court bench. His term began Jan. 1.  The 15th Circuit includes Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion and Pearl River counties. Judge Touchstone previously served for four years as Lamar County Court and Youth Court Judge. He was a state Representative for House District 101 from January 2016 through December 2018.

He served as County Attorney for Lamar County 2010-2015. He is a graduate of Pearl River Community College, earned bachelor and masters of business administration degrees from Millsaps College, and earned a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law.

Judge Martin is chair of the Conference of Chancery Court Judges. He previously served as vice-chair of the Conference. He has served on the 13th Chancery Court bench since January 2015.

The district includes Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Simpson and Smith counties. He previously served as a court appointed mediator in Circuit and Chancery courts, and as a special master in Circuit Courts.

He served as attorney for the Smith County Economic Development District, was attorney for the towns of Raleigh and Taylorsville, and was municipal prosecutor for Raleigh. Judge Martin earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mississippi State University and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.