William “Bill” McKinnon, a prosecutor from Rock Hill, was elected Wednesday by South Carolina legislators as a resident circuit court judge for York and Union counties.
Mckinnon, 45, who also has experience as a civil lawyer, defeated Lisa Collins of Rock Hill, a prosecutor with the 6th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Lancaster. The vote was held by the 170 members of the S.C. General Assembly. Judges in South Carolina are elected by legislators, not by public vote.
There are two resident judge seats in the 16th Judicial Circuit. Judges serve six-year terms that are staggered. Dan Hall, of York, is the other resident judge.
“I am grateful to God and all the people who supported me and helped me,” McKinnon said after the vote. “I will do my best to be a hard working and fair judge for the people of York and Union counties, and for all of South Carolina.”
Circuit judges have statewide jurisdiction and often hold court in other counties. Circuit judges handle criminal and civil trials, pleas, bond hearings, and other matters.
McKinnon will go through judicial training before taking his seat on the bench later this year. McKinnon replaces Judge John C. Hayes III, who retired in December because South Carolina has mandatory retirement for judges at age 72.