Wise County District Attorney Greg Lowery didn’t waste any time filling the vacancy created by the retirement of assistant DA Tim Cole.
Cole retired last Friday.
Patrick Berry started Monday.
Berry, who has been serving as a prosecutor and assistant DA in Hood County for the past six years, is a graduate of Southwestern University and Baylor Law School.
He started his law career in Burleson, but quickly moved into the public sector when he took a job as a misdemeanor prosecutor with the Denton County District Attorney’s office in 1993. He handled more than 80 jury trials with a 90 percent conviction rate before moving up to serve as a felony prosecutor.
In two years, he handled all types of felony offenses from indictment through jury trial, helped streamline the tracking procedures and was on the team that had the most jury trials two out of three years.
Berry then moved over to head up the office’s Family Violence Unit, where he prosecuted five life-sentence jury trials and two additional maximum sentences in one year. He supervised a small group of prosecutors, support staff and student interns and developed a new, streamlined offense report for use in family violence investigations.
His last four years at the Denton County DA’s office, he served as felony domestic violence prosecutor – compiling a 100 percent success rate in jury trials – and was also a trainer on family violence issues for police, prosecutors, judges, medical responders and social workers.
After leaving the Denton County job in 2002, Berry worked in ministry for several years and earned a master’s of divinity degree at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,
He re-entered the law profession in January 2008 when he signed on as an assistant district attorney in Hood County. There, he handled all types of felony cases, serving as the lead prosecutor in approximately 150 trials in six years.
He compiled an impressive conviction rate, securing more than 30 life or life-equivalent sentences and 34 other maximum sentences. He was co-lead on five capital murder trials and four other murder trials, all resulting in life sentences.
He also prosecuted numerous felony drug cases and worked closely with police agencies, adult and juvenile probation and Child Protective Services to manage caseloads, investigate crimes and prosecute them.
“We started working to fill this position when Tim let us know a few months ago that he was leaving,” Lowery said. “There were a couple of finalists, but Patrick stood out.”
Berry joins two other assistant DA’s – Lindy Borchardt and Jay Lapham – on Lowery’s staff in the 271st Judicial District, which covers Wise and Jack counties.