Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed District Attorney Mark Duncan Eighth Circuit Court District circuit judge. Duncan, who has served as DA for the Eighth District since 2003, will replace Judge Vernon Cotten, who retired May 31.
Duncan’s appointment will be effective June 2. Bryant will appoint his replacement as DA for the Eighth District, which covers Scott, Leake, Neshoba and Newton counties.
Before Duncan served as DA, he was an assistant district attorney in the Eighth District for 16 years.
Since starting in the DA’s office in 1988, Duncan has tried more than 800 jury trials. Perhaps his most notable came in his first term as DA, when he led the prosecution of former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen for the killing of three civil rights workers. Duncan’s team secured a conviction on three counts of manslaughter that led to a 60-year sentence.
Duncan received his bachelor’s of business administration and his juris doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He and his wife, Joni, have been married 35 years. They have one son, Benjamin Mark “Ben” Duncan. They attend First United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, where Mark serves in a number of lay leadership roles.