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New chief assistant DA named

COVINGTON -- Newton County District Attorney Layla Zon has announced the appointment of Anne Kurtz to the position of chief assistant district attorney for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit.

Kurtz will be taking over the position from Zon who was appointed district attorney by Gov. Sonny Perdue, following his appointment of Superior Court Judge Ken Wynne, who had previously served as district attorney for the circuit.

"Ms. Kurtz has proven to be a valuable trial attorney in this office but she will also assist in overseeing the overall office functions on a day-to-day basis," Zon said of the appointment. "She has been very involved in investing in this community outside of the office as well. For example, she is one of the Newton County High School mock trial team coaches and she has also volunteered on numerous occasions to teach classes for law enforcement officers. She is committed to this office and to this community and that's why I have every confidence she will be a great chief assistant."

Kurtz, who went to high school in Madison, has worked in the Newton District Attorney's Office since 2007.

"I came fresh out of law school. I interviewed the day after I passed the bar exam and Judge Wynne hired me probably within the week," she said.

She said while in law school she had worked at the Cobb County District Attorney's Office.

"I always knew I wanted to go into prosecution. It was definitely a deliberate choice," she said. "There's not anything I don't like about it. I always wanted to be a trial attorney and be in the courtroom."

Kurtz, who purchased a home in Newton County shortly after she came to work in the DA's office, said she believes it's important to live in the community where you work because it's easier to identify with the victims of crime.

"You know what it's like if your house was burglarized ... I don't look at the job like, 'Let's throw all the bad guys in prison,' but more like, 'Let's make the community better, make it stronger,'" she said.

She is single and said she really likes living in Covington with her two dogs, which are an unlikely combination -- a Chihuahua and a bull mastiff. She said her Chihuahua was with her in her apartment days and when she bought her house, she brought in the bull mastiff.

"They're sorta like my kids," she said.

Also, Zon said Melanie Bell has been appointed senior assistant district attorney and will be assisting mainly in the Newton County office.