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McDonnell names three as circuit judges

Governor Bob McDonnell has appointed judges to fill three of six vacant circuit court positions that were not filled by the 2013 General Assembly.

Thursday, McDonnell announced the appointments of

  • Suffolk assistant commonwealth’s attorney Robert H. Sandwich Jr. in the 5th Circuit,
  • Loudoun County deputy commonwealth’s attorney Stephen E. Sincavage in the 20th Circuit, and
  • Staunton Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Charles L. Ricketts III in the 25th Circuit.

“I am pleased to appoint these highly qualified individuals to the Circuit Court,” McDonnell said in a statement from his office. “Judge Ricketts has served with distinction on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for the last eight years, and both Sandwich and Sincavage have served their communities with distinction as prosecutors for many years.”

The circuit judges appointed by the governor have limited terms that end during the next General Assembly session. They must be elected by the Assembly to remain on the bench. Still unfilled by both the Assembly and McDonnell are circuit court vacancies in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Norfolk.

Sandwich has served as a prosecutor for the cities of Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth and in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit in Columbus, Ga., according to the governor’s statement.  He has worked in private practice in the Hampton Roads and Richmond areas, handling a wide array of criminal and civil matters.  A Navy veteran, Sandwich resides in Suffolk with his wife.

Besides Sandwich, the Assembly interviewed Robert C. Barclay IV and Helivi L. Holland for the 5th Circuit judgeship.

Sincavage has served as a prosecutor in Loudoun County for the last sixteen years, the statement said. He previously served as a law clerk to two circuit judges in the 20th Judicial Circuit. A native of Northern Virginia, Sincavage resides in Ashburn with his wife and daughter.

The House of Delegates had approved Leesburg lawyer William H. Atwill Jr. for the 20th Circuit judgeship, but the Senate left his name off the list. Atwill had been sharply questioned about his views on abortion at a legislative interview in April.

Ricketts was appointed to the J&DR bench in the 25th Judicial District in 2005 and then elected by the Assembly in 2006 and reelected in 2012, the statement said.  For many years prior to taking the bench, he worked in private practice in Waynesboro, handling a variety of civil matters in state and federal courts.  He also served as the mayor of Waynesboro for eight years.  He and his wife reside in Waynesboro and have two grown children.

The Assembly did not interview any candidates for the 25th Circuit.

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