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Cotton named assistant district attorney for District 5

Tim Cotton takes an oath of office for his new position as Assistant District Attorney while Cotton’s wife, Angie, looks on Friday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Tim Cotton takes an oath of office for his new position as Assistant District Attorney while Cotton’s wife, Angie, looks on Friday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Tim Cotton is moving to the other side of the table.

Cotton, who has spent the last decade practicing criminal defense in Natchez, was sworn in Friday morning as the new assistant district attorney for Mississippi District 6.

He will fill the slot vacated by Judge Walt Brown, who left the position after he was elected county court judge late last year.

Hayden Cotton, 9, holds the Bible before his father takes the oath. Tim Cotton has spent the last decade practicing criminal defense in Natchez. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Hayden Cotton, 9, holds the Bible before his father takes the oath. Tim Cotton has spent the last decade practicing criminal defense in Natchez. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

District Attorney Ronnie Harper said he picked Cotton to serve as his assistant after observing him in the courtroom over the years.

“I have always been impressed with his ability, and I think he is a fine, upstanding young man of outstanding character,” Harper said. “There were a lot of good choices out there, and it wasn’t an easy decision, but I felt he would be able to step in and help us in protecting the people of Adams, Wilkinson, Amite and Franklin Counties.”

Cotton opened a private law practice in Natchez in 2004 after attending the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at the University of Houston.

Cotton’s practice has focused on criminal defense, but since 2008 he has also served as a special master presiding over commitment cases.

Cotton said he thinks his time as a criminal defense attorney will be beneficial to his time as a prosecutor.

“It has given me the ability to see both sides of the table,” he said.  “I think this role puts me in a better position to help people even more than when I was a defense attorney.”

Brown administered the oath of office to Cotton.

“(Cotton) is ahead of where I was when I took that position, so I know he will do a good job for the district attorney’s office,” Brown said.

Cotton said he has by law approximately six months to wrap up any lingering cases from his private practice. Harper said the district attorney’s office will be filing a motion requesting the attorney general’s office prosecute any of the remaining handful of cases involving Cotton’s former clients.