Lepone has served as a Juvenile Court Magistrate Judge since May of 2016. He will start his new duties in the DA’s office on Feb. 16.
“It will be great having Ray back in the office,” said Gen. Weirich. “As a prosecutor, he tackled some of the most difficult cases this office has ever handled, and he is widely respected throughout the legal community. Ray’s experience, knowledge of the office, fairness and temperament make him a perfect fit for this new position.”
Lepone became an assistant district attorney in 2000 and handled cases at every level of the criminal justice system, including General Sessions, Criminal Court and Juvenile Court. He primarily prosecuted homicide cases, including a number of high-profile death penalty cases and numerous gang-related violent crimes.
He was the chief prosecutor of the Multi-Agency Gang Unit Prosecution Team which oversees homicide cases and other violent crimes, including aggravated robberies, kidnappings, rapes, criminal attempt murders and narcotics trafficking. The MGU Prosecution Team was originally formed in 1996 as the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Gang & Narcotics Prosecution Unit which aims to address the high volume of cases involving verified gang members.
“I am overwhelmed with excitement that Gen. Weirich has given me this opportunity to further serve the citizens of Shelby County by her side,” said Lepone. “I will be coming back to a place my heart never left, a place full of public servants working hard each day to protect the innocent, pursue the guilty and to give a continued voice to victims of crime. I’m ready to go to work!”
As Deputy District Attorney, Lepone will work with Gen. Weirich in overseeing day-to-day activities of the office and will supervise a staff of 225 attorneys, investigators, victim witness coordinators and support staff.
Lepone, a native of Philadelphia, received his law degree from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis after receiving his undergraduate degree with honors at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
In addition to serving more than 15 years in criminal justice, Lepone has two years of experience as a private practice attorney in the area of civil litigation.