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Sat, Feb. 22

County Attorney announces top performing prosecutors

PRESCOTT- Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk has announced the recipients of her office's outstanding prosecutor awards for 2014-15.

• Felony prosecutor of the year: Susan Eazer

She has over 23 years of prosecuting experience, and has tried hundreds of complex cases including capital murders and sex crimes. Eazer inherited a large caseload of serious felonies when she started at the Yavapai County Attorney's Office in late 2014. Eazer's performance was an example of what the very best prosecutors are made of, Polk said.

• Misdemeanor prosecutor of the year: Amy Drew

Drew entered law school in 2010, and was hired as a prosecutor in 2013. She quickly became one of the office's "go to" attorneys for misdemeanor matters, Polk said. Drew has covered every one of the six justice courts in Yavapai County at one time or another. She has received convictions in every one of the cases she tried before a jury. Amy also assists in training at the Northern Arizona Law Enforcement Academy.

• Appeals Prosecutor of the Year: Ben Kreutzberg

Kreutzberg's outstanding writing skills have made him an essential part of the office's appeals division for both civil and criminal cases, Polk said. Among his significant contributions this past year is his work researching, compiling and summarizing every reported appellate case in Arizona that relates to the topic of prosecutorial misconduct. His work is helping to train prosecutors across the state of Arizona on best practices and ethical conduct at every phase of the criminal process, she said.

• Juvenile Prosecutor of the Year: Michael Daniels

Daniels is a compassionate juvenile prosecutor who shows the same passion for this position as the day he assumed the duties, Polk said. Daniels is a member of the MATFORCE Underage Drinking Task Force, the Juvenile Probation Sex Offender Court staff, and the Juvenile Probation Drug Court staff. He regularly instructs on juvenile law at the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy (NARTA), and teaches procedural criminal law at Yavapai College. Mike coached the Prescott High School mock trial team, is an assistant coach for his son's wrestling and baseball teams.

• Rising Star Prosecutor of the Year: Henry E. Whitmer

During law school at Arizona State University, Whitmer participated in several prosecution clinics and externships and knew beyond a doubt that his true calling was prosecution, Polk said. He was hired by the Yavapai County Attorney's office in January of 2014 and is our Rising Star. He joined the Verde trial group, where he quickly learned how to channel his defense training into successful prosecutorial skills. In July of 2014, Whitmer was tasked with trying his first felony jury trial as a prosecutor in a gang-related assault. He prevailed and the jury convicted the defendant.

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