The District Attorney employs administrative staff and legal assistants to run the daily operations of the office, and aid the assistant district attorney’s with daily court functions. Additionally, we employ two paralegals in the Appellate and White Collar Divisions who assist in preparing and filing appeals and civil suits.
Melisa Appleton is the Administrator for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. Mrs. Appleton has 28 years’ experience as an Administrative Assistant in county government. Mrs. Appleton has a paralegal certificate from Southwestern Paralegal Institute, and is currently studying Criminal Justice at SHSU.
Chris Smith is the Chief Investigator for the Investigation Division. Chief Smith holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University and has a Master Peace Officer License with over 21 years of law enforcement experience. He began his law enforcement career with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in 1992 as a civilian clerk. He graduated from the Houston Community College Police Academy in 1993 and was then assigned to the Patrol Division. Chief Smith was promoted to the rank of Detective in 1997. In 2002, after ten years of service with the Sheriff’s Office, he transferred to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office as an Investigator where he was assigned to the Misdemeanor Division trial courts. As Chief Investigator, Mr. Smith is responsible for the daily operation and supervision of the District Attorney Investigative staff which is comprised of his Assistant Chief and thirteen Investigators.
John Stephenson is the Assistant Chief for the Investigation Division. Stephenson holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University and has a Master Peace Officer License with over 35 years of law enforcement experience. He began his law enforcement career in 1978 as a patrolman with the Navasota Police Department. Assistant Chief Stephenson also spent six years with the Conroe Police Department before joining the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in 1988. As the Assistant Chief Investigator, Mr. Stephenson is primarily responsible for conducting investigations regarding matters of Public Integrity or In-Custody Deaths.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Investigation Division is comprised of fifteen sworn peace officers. The investigative staff is primarily responsible to the trial court prosecutors but also serves a multitude of other functions within the office. These roles would include serving in the Intake Division, being assigned to Children’s Safe Harbor, Investigating Internet Crimes Against Children, White Collar/Fraud, Environmental Crime Investigation, and Major Offenders. In addition to their regular daily work assignments, certain Investigators are call-responsive regarding vehicular crime, homicide, officer involved shootings, and warrant service. District Attorney Investigators are a professional group of individuals who take great pride in their proactive approach to law enforcement within Montgomery County.