Debra Giles is officially a chancery court judge.
Last Friday, the newly-elected magistrate was sworn in at the Sunflower County Courthouse.
Judge Carlton Reeves, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, presided over the proceedings, and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Leslie D. King, whom Giles previously served as a law clerk, issued the oath of office.
Giles beat out incumbent Jane Weathersby in the Nov. 6 election for the District 9-2 Chancery Judge’s position, which encompasses Sunflower, Washington and Humphreys counties.
She assumed the position on Tuesday.
During his opening remarks, Reeves called the event a great day for Sunflower County, the district and the state of Mississippi. He said, “There’s no other judge in Mississippi, go back and look, I promise you, (with a) bachelor’s, two master’s, a PhD and a law degree.”
Reeves acknowledged Giles as a past Curtis E. Coker Access to Justice Award recipient, which is an honor presented annually to an attorney, law firm or other organization that has provided outstanding pro bono (no charge) legal service during that year. He said the day was special, not because Giles was taking the oath for herself, but because she was taking it for the people.
The ceremony included several musical selections by sister/brother duo, Eric Edwards, Sr., and Shara Edwards White and an original poem by Tamilya Thomas of Isola. Giles’ brother, former NFL tight end, Jimmy V. Giles, Sr., presented her with her official robe and the Rev. Herron Wilson provided the invocation in addition to words of encouragement.
Wilson asserted that Giles is focused and dedicated and recounted her kindness and generosity to the people of the district over the years. He told Giles, “Don’t get distracted, don’t bother with the naysayers, don’t worry about the haters, God has brought you to this place for such a time as now.”
The courthouse ceremony was followed by a reception at the Barksdale Gin in the B.B. King Museum.