WESTMINSTER — In the past four years, Jill Trivas has prosecuted a murder case, several assaults and batteries, some thefts and many drunken drivers.
Now she is moving across the aisle.
Trivas, a Carroll assistant state's attorney since August 1987, handled her final county case Tuesday. She starts a new job as a Baltimore public defender Nov. 6.
While the change might seem drastic to some, Trivas says she does not expect it to be too difficult.
"People ask, 'How can you defend someone if you know they are guilty?' " Trivas said. "But I have found it just as difficult to prosecute some people."
Trivas, 30, said she feels her career is coming "full circle."
After graduation from law school at the University of Baltimore, Trivas worked as a clerk for the Public Defender's Office's felony trial division.
"That's always where I wanted to go, and I'mfinally ending up where I wanted to be," said Trivas, adding she likes the quicker pace of the city office.
"They do murders there like we (in Carroll) do DWIs," she said.
She said she came to Carrollto get trial experience and got it.
After Trivas handled cases inCarroll District Court for a year, State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman assigned her to her first jury trial -- the murder trial of former Mount Airy resident Kevin L. Kern.
Kern was convicted of manslaughter and is serving a 10-year sentence in the choking death of his wife. Trivas said the Kern case was the biggest she handled in Carroll.
"It was the one I worked on the hardest," she said. "It was my biggest challenge."
Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns said he has seen Trivas grow into a fine attorney in the four years she worked here.
"Baltimore City is getting a good trial attorney," said Burns. "It's a loss for Carroll County."