David Mercer (Photo submitted)

David Mercer of Springfield will join the city of Springfield as a Municipal Court judge effective Dec. 1.

Mercer was hired by the Springfield City Council Nov. 14 to replace Wendy Garrison, who was promoted to chief judge in the Springfield Municipal Court after the death of Judge Todd Thornhill, who died in April.

There are two judges in Springfield Municipal Court.

Prior to joining the city, Mercer since 1999 served as a first assistant federal public defender for the Western District of Missouri, where he supervised seven attorneys, four investigators and support staff.

Prior to 1999, Mercer was in private practice and served in the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office in Springfield.   

Mercer received his law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law. He holds a master of education and a bachelor of arts from Drury University.

Mercer is an adjunct faculty member for Drury University’s Legal Assistant Studies program and has served as a hunger advocate in Bolivia and Africa for Food for the Hungry.

Mercer’s four-year term will expire Nov. 14, 2026. His salary is $126,360 per year.

Thornhill was 61 when he died. He had been the chief judge for the Springfield Municipal Division since 1994.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at spokin@sgfcitizen.org. His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin