National Crime Victim Rights Week
If you are interested in attending the virtual ceremony please use the link below to register.
10:45 – 11:00 am Victim Services Interagency Council Member Slide Show
11:00 – 11:05 am Opening Remarks
Victim/Witness Services Coordinator
Durham Police Department
G. Norman Acker III
Acting United States Attorney
Eastern District of North Carolina
Chief Cerelyn J. Davis
Durham Police Chief
11:05 – 11:10 am Acting United States Attorney Remarks
Introduction of Keynote Speakers
William T. Stetzer
Acting United States Attorney
Western District of North Carolina
11:10 – 11:30 am Keynote Speakers
Assistant United States Attorney
Western District of North Carolina
Intimate Partner Violence
11:30 – 11:35 am Flower Ceremony: Remembrance of Rose
David L. Elliot
Deputy Chief of Staff
North Carolina Department of Justice
11:35 – 11:50 am Recognition of Victims Presentation
11:50 – 12:00 pm Acting United States Attorney Remarks
Distinguished Prosecutor & Law Enforcement Officer
Victim Services Award
Sandra J. Hairston
Acting United States Attorney
Middle District of North Carolina
Acting United States Attorneys’ Biographies
G. Norman Acker, III is the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Norman Acker was born and raised in Raleigh and is a lifelong resident of the Research Triangle area. He received both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he practiced law for five years before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office in 1990.
Norman has been an Assistant United States Attorney for more than 30 years. For most of that time, he was assigned to the civil division, representing the United States in civil lawsuits, including tort defense, medical malpractice defense, employment discrimination cases, civil commitment cases, bankruptcy, debt collection and prisoner lawsuits. However, his primary focus of litigation was pursuing individuals and corporations who committed fraud against the United States. He was the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Coordinator and the Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the office. He handled “white collar” cases involving contract fraud against the military, health care fraud against the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as many other types of fraud against the government. He also handled several large criminal “white collar” fraud cases that had both civil and criminal components.
Norman was the Deputy Civil Chief and the Civil Chief for a total of 18 years, and from 2018-2021 he served as the First Assistant United States Attorney, supervising the work of the Civil, Criminal and Appellate Divisions. He became the Acting U.S. Attorney in February of 2021.
Sandra J. Hairston is the Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina (MDNC). Ms. Hairston joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the MDNC in 1990. During her thirty-year tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Hairston has served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and Lead Attorney in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Section in the MDNC. She is also the Professional Responsibility Officer, Ethics Advisor, and Criminal Discovery Coordinator for the MDNC. Ms. Hairston served as Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina from January 14, 2017 until January 3, 2018. She was named First Assistant United States in April 2014.
From April 1994 until June 1996, Ms. Hairston served as Chief of the Criminal Division in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Ms. Hairston returned to the MDNC in late June 1996.
Ms. Hairston began her legal career in 1987 as an Assistant District Attorney in the Thirteenth Prosecutorial District of North Carolina.
Ms. Hairston is a 1981 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. In 1987, she was awarded the degree of Juris Doctor from the North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina.
In 2002, Ms. Hairston received the Director’s Award from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney.
Ms. Hairston was the 2015 recipient of the Peter S. Gilchrist III Award, which is given by the Criminal Justice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association to a Prosecutor “who exemplifies the highest ideals of the profession.”
William T. Stetzer was named as the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina on March 1, 2021, following the departure of U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray.
Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer is a career prosecutor who has dedicated his professional life to public service. Mr. Stetzer joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2018 and has since served as the First Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
During his 20+ years of combined service as a state and federal prosecutor, Mr. Stetzer has handled numerous criminal cases and has extensive experience in felony jury trials, including capital and non-capital murder cases.
“It is a great honor to serve the people of the Western District and to work with an incredible group of dedicated public servants,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office has a long legacy of fulfilling its mission to seek justice and to protect the rights and safety of the public, which I pledge to continue while serving in this new role.”
Since joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office as the Western District’s second-in-command, Mr. Stetzer has maintained an active caseload and has handled a variety of federal criminal prosecutions, including drug trafficking, violent crime, child exploitation, financial fraud, and public corruption cases. Notably, Mr. Stetzer served on the prosecution team in United States v. Lindberg et al., one of North Carolina’s most prominent bribery cases involving public officials.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Stetzer served as Supervisor of the Homicide Prosecution Team at the District Attorney’s (DA’s) Office for Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte. During his seven-year tenure as a Supervisor at the DA’s office, Mr. Stetzer’s unit achieved significant reductions in the homicide case backlog and in case disposition time, while increasing both the conviction rate of homicide defendants and the sentences they received.
From 2007 to 2010, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer also served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Gaston County DA’s Office. While there, Mr. Stetzer prosecuted serious violent felony cases including violent assaults, homicides, sexual assaults, and crimes against children.
In 2020, Mr. Stetzer received the Justice Department’s Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service. He has also been recognized for his lifelong contribution to the pursuit of justice by the FBI, the Crime Victim’s Coalition, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide Support Group.
Mr. Stetzer, who resides in Gaston County, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in 1993. He graduated with honors from Washburn University School of Law in 1996.
Mr. Stetzer’s spouse, Kelly Stetzer, is a prosecutor assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit with the Mecklenburg County DA’s Office.
Chief Cerelyn J. Davis, Durham Police Department has more than 32 years of dedicated service in the law enforcement profession. She began her career with the Atlanta Police Department where she learned the essential elements of community engagement and relationship building as a young officer. There, she rose through the ranks, ultimately serving in the role of Deputy Chief before retiring in June 2016 to accept the position of Chief of Police for the City of Durham. Chief Davis is a graduate of the 225th Session of the National FBI Academy, completed senior management training at the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in Boston, Massachusetts; she is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Triangle, and completed Mercer University’s Public Safety Leadership Institute.
Chief Davis has experienced training opportunities abroad at the Emergency Preparedness College in York, England in 2005, and as a participant in an executive exchange session with the Israel National Police, in the cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and NeTanya in 2012. As a result of her mission, Davis developed a leadership curriculum designed to groom bright and extremely prepared leaders for 21st Century Policing. She is the Immediate Past President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), is appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). She has also recently been appointed to Governor Roy Cooper’s NC Racial Equity Criminal Justice Task Force. She is a member of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, appointed to Governor Roy Cooper’s Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, member of the Durham Rotary, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., The LINKs Inc., and other professional affiliations.
Davis advocates for the advancement of other women in her field and has used her experience and leadership acumen to leverage mentoring relationships for women in a variety of career fields. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’ s degree in Public Administration.
Jennifer Hinchey is a Victim/Witness Services Coordinator at the City of Durham Police Department. Jennifer has extensive experience offering support to victims of crime, with a passion for serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Jennifer has provided intervention services in law enforcement, court, and community based agency settings. Jennifer believes in a person centered approach when meeting the needs of individuals. She recognizes the value in a coordinated community response that promotes victim safety and offender accountability.
Jennifer, originally from upstate New York, received her Masters of Education in Community Based Counseling from the State University of New York College at Brockport. Jennifer’s undergraduate degree, also from the State University of New York College at Brockport, is a dual major in Health Science and Women Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice.
Assistant United States Attorney Kimlani Ford is the Civil Rights and VAWA coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of North Carolina. During her 18 years as an AUSA, Kimlani has prosecuted crimes involving drugs, guns, child pornography, federal domestic violence, and sex trafficking. Prior to her employment with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kimlani served as an assistant district attorney in Union, Anson, Stanly, and Richmond counties.
Deanna Walters is a survivor, of intimate partner violence. Deanna and her daughter were kidnapped by her estranged husband. For nearly a week in November 2008, federal documents state that Walters was subjected to a gauntlet of physical and emotional abuse during the course of a six-day trucking trip with her now ex-husband, Robbie Howell. In August 2010, Howell was convicted of interstate domestic violence and kidnapping charges that stemmed from that assault. He was sentenced in June and received more than 20 years in federal prison. In the months and now years that followed her escape from the beatings that came from the hands of her attacker, she is stronger than ever before. Deanna’s story is featured in Private Violence, a feature-length documentary from HBO that follows Deanna’s journey to become a domestic violence survivor and rebuild her life. Deanna is now able to take her experience, wisdom, and courage and help other women and children. She received her Bachelors’ of Social Work from Appalachian State University, is currently a shift manager at Bojangles. She also has volunteered with a domestic violence program and Impact Batterers program.
David Elliott, Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Deputy Attorney General, has served in the North Carolina Department of Justice since 1997. Elliott spent 10 years as a litigator in the Consumer Protection Division. Since 2007, David has been the Director of the Victims and Citizens Services section of the North Carolina Department of Justice, where he has advocated against domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. David is a native of Chapel Hill and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University School of Law.