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5 lawyers seek to fill Knox County judicial seat

Kyle Hixson is being appointed to an appellate seat, creating a Knox County Criminal Court vacancy.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Five East Tennessee lawyers will be interviewed next month to fill an open seat in Knox County Criminal Court.

Four are prosecutors; one is a member of the defense bar. They're seeking to replace Criminal Court Judge Kyle Hixson, who has been appointed to a vacancy on the state's Court of Criminal Appeals.

The five are assistant prosecutors Ashley McDermott, Nate Ogle, and Hector Sanchez of the Knox County District Attorney General's Office; Anderson County Assistant District General Emily Faye Abbott; and defense attorney Wesley Stone.

Names of the five were announced Thursday by the Administrative Office of the Court in Nashville.

The Trial Court Vacancy Commission will interview the candidates 9 a.m. Aug. 2. According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, the commission after speaking with the candidates will pick three finalists to be forwarded to Republican Gov. Bill Lee for his consideration.

Lee previously appointed Hixson, a former member of the District Attorney General's Office, to the Knox County bench. Hixson is expected to join the appellate court later this summer.

A candidate running for the Knox County Property Assessor's position says the feds are investigating the department.

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