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Criminal Court Judges
The criminal division has twelve (12) judges who hear all felony cases, appeals of Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court criminal cases, extraditions of felons in other jurisdictions and requests for search warrants.
Biography: Judge Britt Baca-Miller was born and raised in Albuquerque. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University, a master’s degree in public administration, and a juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
She has worked as a public defender in Albuquerque since 2013, representing indigent individuals in cases ranging from DWI to first-degree murder. She represented clients in dozens of felony jury trials in this role.
She has served on the board of directors of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association and is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association.
Biography: Judge Bruce Fox received his B.A. from the University of Connecticut and his J.D. from Western New England University. He has been licensed to practice law in New Mexico since 1993, and has spent his entire career working in the courts of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, and the Pueblo of Laguna.
Before being appointed to District Court in 2021, he was Chief Judge for the Pueblo of Laguna. He was also a New Mexico Public Defender for many years in the Second Judicial District, and spent the early part of his career as a legal aid attorney at DNA Legal Services on the Navajo Nation.
Throughout his career, Judge Fox has worked on developing a better understanding of addiction and behavioral health issues and their impact on the criminal justice system. He is a strong believer in drug courts and mental health courts.
Biography: Judge Joseph Montano is an Albuquerque native, and a 2001 graduate of St. Pius X High School. He earned a political science degree from California Lutheran University in 2005, and a J.D. from UNM School of Law in 2008.
After law school, Judge Montano worked for the University of Michigan’s Athletic Department as a Compliance Assistant. He was also the Director of Compliance for UNM’s Athletic Department. He worked in the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office for the past ten years, most recently serving as the Deputy District Attorney managing the General Crimes Felony Trial Division.
Biography: Judge Moran was appointed to the Criminal Division of the Court in July 2020. She was born in Albuquerque and moved to Las Cruces with her family in the second grade. She left New Mexico to attend college in Maryland, and returned to get her law degree at UNM.
She spent her entire career as a prosecutor, most recently serving as Chief Deputy Attorney General overseeing the Criminal Affairs Division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.
Biography: Judge Lucy Solimon was born in Lebanon and immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was six years old. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Occidental College and then a second bachelor’s degree in Spanish from UNM.
Since graduating from UNM Law School in 2007, Judge Solimon has worked as both a defense attorney and prosecutor, and has State, Federal, and Administrative court experience.
She started her career in the New Mexico Public Defender’s Office helping indigent clients. She spent some time in private practice, serving diverse clients throughout New Mexico. She later served the Pueblo of Laguna as a Special Assistant US Attorney. At the time of her appointment to the bench in July 2020, Judge Solimon was the Enforcement Bureau Chief and Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Mexico.
Biography: An Albuquerque native, Judge Courtney Weaks graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in English Literature in 2004. She returned to New Mexico to attend UNM Law School, where she met her husband Jason, and graduated in 2007.
She began her career at the Second Judical District Attorney’s office, prosecuting criminal cases in Metropolitan Court, DWI charges as well as vehicular homicide cases. Judge Weaks then entered private practice where she focused on criminal defense work in addition to practicing family law.
Judge Weaks was elected to the Metropolitan Court Bench in 2014 where she served as the Presiding Judge of Metropolitan Court’s Specialty Court Program as well as the Presiding Judge of the Court’s Behavioral Health Court Program and the Early Intervention Program.
Judge Weaks also serves as an executive of Bernalillo County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s (BCCJCC) Subcommittee on Reintegration and Reentry. She was elected to the District Court Bench in 2020.
Biography: Judge Jennifer J. Wernersbach graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2004 and practiced as a trial lawyer for sixteen years, primarily in the areas of criminal law and civil rights in both state and federal court.
Judge Wernersbach was appointed to the Criminal Court Division of District Court in January 2021.