NEW YEAR, NEW JUDGE: Daugherty takes oath for interim municipal judge position

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Christina Ferrell Daugherty took the oath of office on Tuesday on the steps of Natchez City Hall and became the Interim Municipal Court Judge.

Earlier that morning, outgoing judge Lisa Jordan Dale was sworn in as Assistant District Attorney for District Attorney Tim Cotton’s office in Sixth Judicial District Circuit Court.

“We congratulate Judge-Designate Daugherty on her appointment, and we wish her every success as she tackles this important responsibility,” Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said. ‘We are confident that her many years of experience in criminal law and impeccable character along with her fair temperament will serve our citizens well.

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“We also express our thanks to outgoing Municipal Judge Lisa Jordan Dale for her many years of service to Natchez. She has served our city honorably, and we congratulate her on her new role as Assistant District Attorney to our new DA, Tim Cotton, in the Sixth Circuit Court District Attorney’s office.”

Daugherty was joined at her swearing-in by her husband, Adams County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Shane Daugherty, and their children, Caleb and Emily.

Chancery Court Judge E. Vincent Davis held up the family Bible that belonged to Daughtery’s mother for the ceremony.

“Thank you all for being here. It is so important to me to have all of my family and my friends and colleagues around on this important occasion,” she said. “I look forward to beginning this new phase of my life and look forward to serving the citizens of Natchez.

“I want to thank especially Judge Lisa Dale for allowing me to borrow her robe for a while and for Judge Davis for being here for me, one of my mentors ever since I first moved to Natchez. … Also, to my family of course as well as the Board of Aldermen for having the faith in me to perform the duties of this job. I look forward to it and I’m excited to get started.”

Daugherty, who is currently the vice principal at Adams County Christian School, said her new role in municipal court is currently part-time and she “will see” how much time that leaves for her to continue working at ACCS and in what capacity.

She started her career as a lawyer until her children were enrolled at Trinity Episcopal School. The school needed a headmaster, and she filled the need.

Most of her family has worked in law enforcement. Both her father, the late Tommy Ferrell, and grandfather, Billy Ferrell, were sheriffs.

Daugherty is a Louisiana State University graduate and earned her law degree from the University of Mississippi. She practiced as an attorney for 15 years in Nashville and in Natchez before moving into education and earning her administrator’s license from Mississippi College.

Gibson broke a three-three tie of the city’s board of aldermen in a special meeting on Dec. 28, 2023, to appoint Daugherty as interim municipal court judge, a decision that was supported by Aldermen Valencia Hall, Sarah Carter-Smith and Curtis Moroney. Aldermen Billie Joe Frazier, Felicia Bridgewater-Irving and Ben Davis favored Natchez attorney Aisha Sanders for the position.

In the same meeting, Nakita Banks was appointed municipal court judge pro tem, a position she held in the past, with little discussion. Aldermen Frazier and Bridgewater-Irving voted against her appointment, but it passed with the positive votes cast by Hall, Carter-Smith, Davis and Moroney.