Abbie Crites-Leoni of Cape Girardeau has been selected by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to fill a vacancy for U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southeastern Division. According to a news release from the Eastern District, Crites-Leoni was selected from nominees submitted by a merit-selection panel that consisted of lawyers and laypeople. Crites-Leoni will fill a vacancy created when Judge Lewis M. Blanton retires in March. The term is eight years with the opportunity to renew the appointment for additional terms, and Crites-Leoni's main workplace will be the Rush H. Limbaugh Sr. U.S. Courthouse in Cape Girardeau. She is an assistant federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Missouri specializing in the prosecution of drug trafficking, child exploitation and government program fraud crimes. Crites-Leoni also spent time as attorney for the 32nd Judicial Circuit Juvenile Office and as assistant prosecutor for Cape Girardeau County.
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