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Canyon descending through the Sandia Mountains

Second Judicial District Court

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Criminal Court Judges

The criminal division has eleven (11) 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.

Name: Britt M. Baca-Miller
Division XX
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Michelle Gutierrez
Phone: 505-841-7562
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.
Name: Bruce Fox
Division X
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Naomi Medina
Phone: 505-841-7512
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.

Name: Alisa Hart
Division XXI
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Gina Duran
Phone: 505-841-6748
Biography: Judge Alisa Hart graduated from Hofstra Law School in 1991. She joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2010 where she serves as a member of the Criminal Division.
Name: Cindy Leos
Division IX
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Bernadette Torres-Carian
Phone: 505-841-7480
Biography: Judge Cindy Leos is from Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended Moriarty High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, and earned her Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Her professional experience includes working in private practice, as a Children’s Court attorney for Child Protective Services, and as a Felony Attorney/Supervisor for the New Mexico Office of the Public defender. Judge Leos was elected in the general election on November 8, 2016 to Division IX of the Second Judicial District Court.
Name: Brett R. Loveless – Presiding Criminal Court Judge
Division III
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Cindy Molina
Phone: 505-841-7499
Biography: After practicing law for seventeen years in New Mexico, Judge Loveless joined the Court in 2012 and presides over criminal cases. Judge Loveless is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico School of Law. He also presides over cases in the Judicial Supervision/Mental Health Court Program.
Name: Joseph Montano
Division XXVI
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Jeff Gulley
Phone: 505-222-4570
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.
Name: Clara Marissa Moran
Division XXVIII
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Ellen Wickens
Phone: 505-841-7418
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. 
Name: Lucy Solimon
Division XXIX
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Colleen Lukas
Phone: 505-841-7430

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.

Name: Courtney B. Weaks
Division XV
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Grizell Moreno-Leon
Phone: 505-841-7474
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.
Name: Jennifer J. Wernersbach
Division XVI
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Katrina Spencer
Phone: 505-841-7515
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.
Name: Stan Whitaker – Chief Judge
Division II
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Sonja Clevenger
Phone: 505-841-7521
Biography: Judge Stan Whitaker is a 1989 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law. Judge Whitaker joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2006. He serves as a member of the Criminal Division. He was elected Chief Judge in 2018.