Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. appointed two prosecutors yesterday to new judgeships in Baltimore Circuit Court.
Stephanie L. Royster, a deputy state's attorney in Baltimore and Barry G. Williams, special litigation counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, were chosen to fill spots that the General Assembly created last session.
Royster, 44, and Williams, 45, will assume their judgeships within 30 days, said Marcella A. Holland, administrative judge of the Baltimore Circuit Court. The new judges will have two weeks of training and will serve until next fall, when they will be up for election to 15-year terms.
Holland said the new judges may be used to ease the overloaded criminal and domestic dockets in the city court system. They'll join the city's 30 other Circuit Court judges.
"They'll be a tremendous help," she said.
Royster and Williams have long backgrounds in prosecution, and the two of them are "dear friends," Royster said. She said they would help each other assume their new roles.
Since 2003, Royster has been chief of staff and one of three deputy state's attorneys for Baltimore's top prosecutor, Patricia C. Jessamy. She is responsible for all Circuit Court investigations and felony prosecutions and is a liaison to the Baltimore Police Department. Royster joined the office in 1990 and has extensive felony trial experience.
Royster said it has been a lifelong dream of hers to become a judge and that she will approach the job "with a great deal of respect for the people who appear before me."
Williams, a Baltimore assistant state's attorney from 1989 to 1997, now prosecutes federal criminal civil rights cases for the Justice Department.
Williams has done two judicial clerkships. He worked for Judge Robert M. Bell, now chief of the Court of Appeals, and Judge Arrie W. Davis, now a member of the Court of Special Appeals.
Jessamy said she has respect for both incoming judges. "I consider both of them to be our children," she said, referring to their experience in the prosecutor's office.
Royster and Williams received their law degrees from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Joining the new judges in the election next fall will be Circuit Judges John C. Themelis and Gale E. Rasin.