Trial Bureau

The  Trial  Bureau  of the District Attorney’s Office consists of  personnel  divided  into  two  divisions, the Felony Trial Division and the Misdemeanor Trial Division.

Kelly Blackburn  is  the  Chief  of  the  Trial  Bureau  of  the Montgomery  County   District   Attorney's   Office.   He   is responsible  for   the   daily   supervision   of,   as   well   as ensuring  the  training  and   mentoring   of   all   Assistant District     Attorneys     assigned     to     the     felony     and misdemeanor  trial    courts    of    Montgomery    County. 

Blackburn  grew  up  in  Brownwood,  Texas.  He attended Texas Tech University and graduated  with a  Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science.  

Montgomery County has four District Courts with jurisdiction over felony offenses. The District Attorney's Office has assigned a team of four prosecutors to each of these courts, consisting of a Court Chief and three additional, experienced prosecutors. These prosecutors handle thousands of felony offenses each year.

In evaluating a case, the prosecutor examines the evidence and the offender's previous criminal history, interviews witnesses, consults with the victim, and makes a determination regarding whether a plea bargain should be offered to the defendant. In cases which are not disposed of by an agreed sentence, the prosecutor prepares the case for trial by a jury of twelve citizens of Montgomery County.  The sentences that have been assessed by Montgomery County juries directly impact the sentences offered by prosecutors in evaluating similar cases for plea bargaining or trial.

Misdemeanor Trial Division

The Misdemeanor Trial Division of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of all Class A and B misdemeanors filed in Montgomery County, as well as the Class C misdemeanors filed in the Justice of the Peace Courts.

Class A misdemeanor offenses are those for which punishment may be assessed at a fine of up to $4000, incarceration in the county jail for up to one year, or both such fine and incarceration. Examples of Class A misdemeanors include Driving While Intoxicated-Second Offense, Assault with Bodily Injury on a Family Member, Theft from $500 - $1500 and Burglary of a Motor Vehicle.

Class B misdemeanor offenses, like Driving While Intoxicated-First Offense and Theft from $50 to $500, are those for which punishment may be assessed at a fine of up to $2000, incarceration in the county jail for up to 180 days, or both such fine and incarceration.

Class C misdemeanor offenses are those for which punishment may be assessed at a fine only, and include Health & Safety Code violations, Parks & Wildlife Code violations, as well as traffic offenses such as Speeding and Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (driving without valid insurance).

The Misdemeanor Trial Division is staffed by ten prosecutors that are assigned to the three County Criminal Courts and the Justice of the Peace Courts. These prosecutors are assisted by two investigators and four support staff.  On average, this division handles over 10,000 cases a year. The Misdemeanor Division Chief and County Court Chiefs train the misdemeanor prosecutors to follow the highest ethical standards, to properly evaluate and try criminal cases, and to see that justice is done.

Upon graduation, Blackburn moved to Houston where he attended  South  Texas  College  of  Law.  After  graduating  from South  Texas  College  of  Law  in  1999, Blackburn  began  his  legal  career  at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney, where he served in multiple District Courts as a felony  trial  prosecutor.  He  also  served  in the  Public  Integrity  Division,  where  he handled cases and investigations  involving  public  corruption.  After  leaving  the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in 2008, Blackburn worked for the Department  of  Justice  as  an  Assistant  United States  Attorney for the Western District of Texas, handling  large-scale  narcotics  offenses,  human  smuggling,  bulk-cash smuggling,  firearms,  organized  crime, and criminal immigration offenses.  Blackburn left the United States Attorney’s Office in 2010, to  join  the  Montgomery  County District Attorney’s  Office,   where   he   has   served   as   a  Chief Prosecutor  in  multiple  District  Courts  and  Chief  of  the Public  Integrity  Division  before being  promoted  to Chief of the Trial Bureau.  Blackburn is also Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Felony Trial Division

The Felony Trial Division is responsible for prosecuting felony criminal offenses not handled by the specialized divisions. Felony offenses are serious crimes which are punishable by death or confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (penitentiary or state jail) or by a suspended sentence. Examples of felony offenses are: capital murder; murder; aggravated robbery; sexual assault; sexual offenses against children; injury to a child or an elderly individual; aggravated assault; identity theft; credit and debit card abuse; and certain theft and drug offenses. The Felony Division is staffed by 15 assistant district attorneys, four investigators and five legal assistants.

Mon – Fri 8am - 5pm
Sat & Sun Closed