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Judge Debra McLaughlin

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Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit (Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson Counties)

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Judge Debra McLaughlin was raised in Manassas, Virginia. She has been a resident of Morgan County from 1999 until 2019 where she practiced law and raised a family. In 2019, she relocated to Berkeley County to accommodate her 16-year-old’s education in the dual enrollment program between Shepherd University and St. Maria Goretti High School.

She has a 1990 bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and psychology from St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, where she was an Honors Program graduate. She has a 1993 law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Judge McLaughlin was an associate at the law firm of Bochetto & Lentz and later a Katherman & Heim from 1994 to 1999. In 1999, she joined the firm of Harmison & Savasten in Berkeley Springs. Shortly thereafter, she became a part-time assistant prosecutor for Morgan County. In 2002, she was appointed to the office of Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney; she was elected to the position in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Governor Jim Justice appointed her to the bench in the Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit (Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson Counties) in August 2017 and she served until May 2018. He appointed her again in March 2019. Between May 2018 and November 2018 she was a solo practitioner practicing in criminal defense and abuse and neglect. Between December 2018 and March 2019 she was an assistant Jefferson County prosecutor.

Judge McLaughlin and her family are active members of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, where she served on the Finance Council for 10 years. She served as the President of the Morgan County Soccer League from 2004 till 2014 and coached one to two teams per season. She volunteered as an Assistant Coach for the Berkeley Springs High School Lady Indian’s Soccer team during the fall 2017 season. She served on CASA Board of Directors from June 2018 till March 2019. She volunteers her time in the community through the Morgan County Partnership. She helped develop and grow Teen Court in Morgan County which was a model program for the neighboring counties.

She and her husband Kevin have three children (two of which are no longer children).