After three years of working as an assistant district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, Sean Murray left the office in October.
Murray starts work Jan. 11 as a deputy district attorney for the 6th Judicial District serving La Plata, Archuleta and San Juan counties, he said.
Murray lives in Durango along with his family, and he made the commute to Cortez each day when he was working here. It made sense for him to work where he lived, he said.
“I really loved serving Montezuma and Dolores counties,” he said. “It was a difficult decision but was one I had to make.”
Originally from Virginia, Murray started working in 2011 as a public defender in Southwest Colorado. He came to 22nd Judicial District Attorney Will Furse’s office in September 2013, he said.
Earlier this fall, Murray was a finalist to become a judge for the 6th Judicial District, but former federal prosecutor Todd Norvell was selected instead.
Murray said there were no specific cases he worked in Montezuma County that stand out. Instead, he enjoyed getting to know people in the community and working to improve it by seeking justice.
“For me it’s less about the cases and more about helping victims of crime,” he said.
He thanked Furse for the opportunity to work in Cortez, as well as law enforcement and the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center for their work. He also thanked Renew, an organization that provides support to victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Cortez, and the public defender’s office in Durango.
“Their public service is a great inspiration,” he said.
In the absence of Murray, Furse is looking to keep his office fully staffed.
“We haven’t filled that position yet, but I certainly intend to in the short term,” Furse said.
Though Murray left, the office has no vacant positions. Attorneys James Tilton and Jeremy Reed joined the office this fall. Tilton started in August, and Reed started around Thanksgiving, Furse said.
He said he will likely look in-house to fill Murray’s position.
“We’re quite happy with the folks that we have,” he said. “We have the full amount of lawyers we need.”
Tilton’s position is funded through a fellowship from the state of Colorado. The yearlong program ends in August, so Furse will need to find another funding source at that time, he said. He hopes that county commissioners will consider that when passing a budget, he said.
“I’m hopeful that our county budget will accommodate the true need that we have for prosecutors that are dedicated to the position,” he said.