BISBEE — Eugene Marquez has been appointed county public defender by the Cochise County Board of Supervisors.

A juris doctor from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Marquez has 25 years of legal practice experience, including trial experience, to fill the public defender role previously held by County Administrator Richard Karwaczka.

Prior to joining Cochise County, Marquez was deputy public defender in Yuma County and has also served as a judge pro tempore for Maricopa County Superior Court.

Marquez has begun leading the interview process in search of a deputy public defender.

In addition to this appointment, the county has named the following attorneys to the Legal Defender Office:

Brian Molitor, a part-time dependency attorney in the Sierra Vista office, as of Aug. 23.

Beginning Sept. 7, Scott Erickson will serve full-time as a criminal attorney alongside part-time attorney Justin Gettler. Both will practice in the Bisbee office.

With the additions, the Legal Defender’s Office will be near full staff. A dependency attorney is being sought along with a criminal attorney.

According to Cochise County Legal Defender Sara Dent, having additional attorneys onboard will greatly alleviate her team’s need to overload cases and will offer much-needed bandwidth for cases they are currently handling. This will greatly reduce the current reliance on contract attorneys.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson is optimistic about the positive impact the new additions will have on the broader defense practice within Cochise County Superior Court.

For information on the Cochise County Public Defender, Legal Defender and Office of Legal Advocate, visit the Cochise County website at https://www.cochise.az.gov/389/Indigent-Defense.

Submitted by Cochise County