Judge Paul A. Holcombe has been appointed Chief District Court Judge for the Eleventh Judicial District covering Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties by Chief Justice Paul M. Newby of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Judge Holcombe, who is beginning his fourth term, was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, 2016 and 2020. He replaces former Chief District Court Judge Jackie Lee who recently retired.
“It is an honor to serve the people of North Carolina as one of their district court judges. I appreciate the bi-partisan support I have received from the citizens of Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties in the last four elections. I am humbled to be chosen to serve as the next Chief District Court Judge. I look forward to serving my colleagues, justice system stakeholders and the citizens of Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties in this new role,” Judge Holcombe said.
Judge Holcombe, who grew up in Raleigh, received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991. After graduation from law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law, he began his law career in 1994 as an assistant district attorney general in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Upon returning to North Carolina in 2003, Holcombe continued his public service as a prosecutor. He served four years in the District Attorney’s office in Cabarrus County and two years in the District Attorney’s office in Johnston County. In all three offices his responsibilities included prosecution of violent crimes, including sexual predators, drug offenses, property and financial crimes, and traffic offenses including DWI. He was recognized as a Board Certified Specialist in State Criminal Law from 2005 to 2010. “As a prosecutor, I was privileged to serve with hardworking law enforcement officers and community leaders to ensure the safety of our communities.”
While serving as a district court judge, Judge Holcombe has presided over criminal courts (Probable Cause, Misdemeanor, Traffic and Domestic Violence) and civil courts (Domestic, Domestic Violence, DSS, DJJ and Mental Health) on a rotating basis in all three counties that comprise the Eleventh Judicial District. He has been a certified juvenile judge since 2010.
In 2015 Judge Holcombe was appointed by then-Chief Justice Mark D. Martin to the NC Commission on the Administration of Law & Justice, where he served on both the full commission and the Criminal Investigation and Adjudication subcommittee.
Judge Holcombe has been married to Deanne Holcombe since 1994. His wife serves as a media specialist for the Johnston County school system. They reside in Clayton and have two daughters.