District Attorney Craig Ladd has announced the addition of Jack Coppedge to his staff of assistant district attorneys in Carter County.

"Although Jack recently graduated from law school, he worked as an intern for a reputable firm in Oklahoma City while a law student. He was raised in Johnston County, and his background is well known to me. Jack comes highly recommended both professionally and personally. Every indication is that Jack is a top-notch person with a bright future, and I am thrilled that he has chosen to return to southern Oklahoma to begin his legal career," Ladd said.

Coppedge, who follows his father, District Judge Wallace Coppedge, into the legal profession, obtained his law degree in May from Oklahoma City University School of Law and passed the bar exam in September. He said he sought a career as a prosecutor in order to realize one of his primary goals.

"I always wanted to be in the courtroom. I didn't want to just sit at a desk and push papers," he explained.

Coppedge began working in the Carter County DA's office in mid-October. What has the criminal law experience been like so far?

"It's been eye opening. It's more real, more personal — a shock," Coppedge admitted, but he added the experience has also confirmed his decision to seek a position as a prosecutor was the right one. "My goal is to be someone victims can trust to look out for their best interest. Victims are real people whose lives are affected daily. They deserve to know we are doing everything we can and are confident in what we do."

The new ADA also confirmed he found the job stimulating and exciting.

"I don't know what the future holds, but right now, I'm learning something new everyday. Every day there are new challenges. And everyday it (job) gets better," he said.

Coppedge's wife, Haley, is a surgical nurse at Mercy Hospital Ardmore. The couple resides in Ardmore.