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'An amazing day': Judge Sanchez takes oath as county's newest trial court judge

Hector Sanchez is also the first state court judge of Hispanic heritage.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The responsibility is enormous. But Hector Sanchez said Friday he was ready to carry out the duties of being Knox County's newest trial court judge.

He was sworn in formally Friday afternoon by Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee in a ceremony witnessed by dozens of judges, lawyers and judicial assistants in the high court's ornate downtown courtroom.

Sanchez, a former prosecutor and a U.S. Marine, said in brief remarks that he was humbled and excited for the job he was about to assume. The day, he declared, was "amazing."

Lee said Sanchez has "all the qualities" needed to be a special judge. He has a wealth of life experiences that will help guide his decisions on the bench, she said.

Credit: WBIR
Hector Sanchez dons his judicial robe.

"He has worked hard to get to where he is," she noted.

He's also the state's first Hispanic trial court judge.

"He brings much needed diversity to the bench," Lee said.

Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said it was bittersweet to lose such a fine lawyer and member of her office. But Allen said it was obvious he brings great character strengths to the job, including a sense of humility and a dedication to hard work.

Sanchez is expected to begin presiding over his Division 2 docket later this month.

Gov. Bill Lee appointed him to the open position last week. He replaces Judge Kyle Hixson, who has moved to an appellate court position.

Among those standing with him as he took the oath Friday afternoon were his wife, Kimberley, and his mother and stepfather, Nancy and David Faul.

Also in attendance were retired judges including Mary Beth Leibowitz and Bob McGee, Sheriff Tom Spangler, John Gill, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Knoxville Municipal Court Judge John Rosson, and U.S. Rep Tim Burchett of Knoxville.

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