New prosecutor joins Waynesville team

Dec 10, 2012
Photo by: Donated photo Jennifer Nichole Stevens takes the oath of office to serve as a domestic violence prosecutor for the 30th prosecutorial district in Waynesville.

When it comes to domestic violence, sometimes victims fail to speak out until it's too late.

But with the support of state attorneys, District Attorney Mike Bonfoey says victims are more likely to step forward and prosecute those who harm them.

Bonfoey recently appointed a new assistant district attorney to serve for the 30th Prosecutorial District to work specifically on domestic violence cases in Waynesville.

District Attorney Michael Bonfoey appointed Jennifer Nichole Stevens, of Wendell, for the role.

Stevens received her oath of office on Monday, Dec. 10, at the Haywood County Courthouse by District Court Judge Richlyn Holt.

The position is funded by a federal grant from the Office of Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice, which will last another two years.

Domestic violence caseloads are heavy in Haywood County, and it's important to have a prosecutor focused on those cases.

"Any time you have a domestic violence victim, one of the most difficult parts of prosecution is that victims sometimes don’t want to proceed with the prosecution. The purpose of the grant is to give the victims support early on so they will follow through with prosecution and end the violence," Bonfoey said.

Stevens received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007.  In 2011 she completed her legal education and received her Juris Doctor degree from Liberty University School of Law. Since 2011 she has practiced law in Lee County.

She is the daughter of Sefton and Carolyn Stevens.

“I am excited about this opportunity to join the District Attorney’s Office and prosecute domestic violence cases. I have wanted to be a prosecutor since my first year of law school. I look forward to this new challenge,” Stevens said.