Knox Co. Criminal Court Division II candidates state their Primary case

As incumbent Knox County Criminal Court Division II judge in his first service on the bench, Republican Kyle Hixson was appointed by Gov. Bill Lee and sworn in Jan. 1.

“I’ve spent my career in public service; I’ve worked for the state of Tennessee my entire career, either as an assistant (district attorney) for (then District Attorney Randy Nichols), and assistant attorney general in the AG’s office in Nashville (two years) — or for the past five years I’ve worked as deputy District Attorney for (District Attorney) Charme Allen,” Hixson said about his re-election bid in the Tuesday, March 3, GOP Primary. “I’m committed to public service, that’s my calling.

“At this point, with my experience both in the trial courts and the appellate courts, I think this is the best way for me to continue serving my fellow citizens.”

A native of Crossville who said he “comes from a long line of small businessmen,” Hixson said his father and grandparents “ran a little country grocery store just north of Crossville, and I literally had my playpen on the floor of that store.”

Such stores back then “were a community hub in rural areas like that,” he said.

“That was a special experience for me, being able to grow up in that environment,” Hixson added. “By the time I became a teenager, dad had shut down the store — and got into the convenience store business, so I worked in those around Crossville.”

At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “I got my undergraduate degree there; I got my law degree there,” Hixson said.

Coming back home, in a way, “I just finished my third year as an adjunct professor at the UT College of Law, teaching trial practice to law students,” he said.

Wesley Stone, a licensed attorney since 2000, spells out his motivations, qualifications and bench goals if chosen as the Republican nominee for Knox County Criminal Court Division II judge in the Tuesday, March 3, Primary.

“I want to serve Knox County in a way that I could use my nearly 20 years of experience in the criminal and civil justice system throughout the state of Tennessee,” Stone said, adding the key is “getting decisions right — getting them right the first time.

“That will result in justice not being delayed,” he added. “And finality for the parties (involved), and also to reduce the burden on taxpayers for errors ... that get reversed on appeal.”

As a result, “I give back to my community in a way that I can use my gifts and talents as a trial attorney throughout the state,” Stone added. “… I’ve done defense work throughout the state in sessions and criminal courts, Courts of Appeals and Tennessee Supreme Court.”

“… A lot of domestic relations work, I’ve handled a lot of those cases. A lot of juvenile dependency and neglect cases. A lot of juvenile delinquency cases, orders of protection — all of those are civil. I’ve been involved in personal injury-type cases. I’ve been involved in boundary line disputes … real property disputes.”

He has been involved in the criminal justice system “both as a prosecutor working out of the (district attorney’s) office in Jefferson County, Alabama,” Stone said. “And the DA’s office in Claiborne and Union counties.”

Though having never served as a judge, “I have set, specially, occasionally in some juvenile court proceedings,” he said. “And I have sat specially in some general sessions court proceedings.”