About Donna King
Donna King has served as the presiding judge of the 26th State District Court in Williamson County since 2014 and has handled over 10,000 cases. As judge of a mixed jurisdiction court, she hears cases ranging from serious felony crimes to complex civil matters. Her judicial philosophy is simple and has not changed since she first ran for office.
“The judge’s greatest responsibility is to uphold the Constitution and respect and protect the rights of all litigants and victims,” said Judge King. “Those who are found to be guilty of a crime should face consequences for their actions while those who are the victims of crimes should find solace and compassion in the judicial process. That is exactly what I have done my entire legal career, as a prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney, victim advocate and a judge”.
A former Williamson County Child Abuse Prosecutor of the Year, Judge King began her career in the Williamson County Attorney’s Office and later in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. She served as a municipal judge for the City of Leander and worked as an attorney in private practice, handling criminal defense cases, and representing area children and families in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services cases. She also taught a variety of courses for local law enforcement agencies, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, and the Capital Area Council of Governments; including a 24-hour course in domestic violence for basic peace officers which she co-authored.
Judge King has championed innovative judicial policies to reduce recidivism and the jail population, such as introducing mentoring programs for young, high-risk offenders. She also created Williamson County’s first Felony Mental Health Docket. Prisons and jails have become de facto mental hospitals in our state, with over 75% of inmates in Texas having a mental illness diagnosis. Judge King’s specialty docket provides needed treatment, counseling, and supervision to offenders who experience mental illness.
Recognizing the need for new and updated bail and bond policies for low-risk defendants, Judge King also implemented a Pre-Trial Bond Department in an effort to balance the purposes and need for bail bonds, while reducing the county jail's population and saving tax dollars.
Judge King has worked closely with other judges and county commissioners to plan for and expand the Magistrate’s Office. Through utilization of Associate Judges, the county has saved taxpayers the expense of creating new courts to handle the ever-increasing number of case filings. This has led to faster processing of inmates for the magistration processes, faster appointment of court appointed attorneys for indigent defendants, and faster orders for assessment of behavioral health deficiencies and treatment.
Judge King has developed innovative sentencing practices for young offenders through collaboration with community partners and volunteers who provide mentorship and engage these young people in job training and positive role modeling. This specialized docket engages these young men and women who have experienced trauma and grown up lacking role models and foundational necessities.
Finally, with respect to civil cases that come before the court, Judge King recognizes that all disputes, whether business, contractual, or personal injury, can be life-altering for all parties involved. That is why she dedicates a substantial amount of time to civil case review, pre-trial hearings, and jury trials. By implemented processes to streamline pre-trial matters, Judge King is able to bring about the efficient trial of contested cases.
Judge Donna King is holding court for the people of Williamson County, ensuring that the rule of law is upheld, that all parties are treated equally and with respect, and that offenders receive treatment and the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves to become productive members of our community.