Appellate Staff Bios

Crystal L. Walden graduated from Capital University Law School in 1998.  Crystal is the Director of the Appellate Advocacy Division.  Crystal’s previous experience included her services as a trial lawyer in the State of Ohio’s Franklin County Public Defender’s office and an attorney in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corporation.  During her tenure in the Kanawha County offices of the Public Defender Corporation, she worked for 8 years in the appellate division. Send email

Matthew Brummond is an attorney in the Appellate Advocacy Division.  Matthew graduated from WVU College of Law in 2008, where he had been an active member of Public Interest Advocates.  Since graduating he has specialized in post-conviction work, representing indigent prisoners in West Virginia circuit courts, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Send email

Justin M. Collin is an attorney in the Appellate Advocacy Division. He received his undergraduate degree from Shepherd College and his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Irene C. Berger for two years and then spent ten years as a trial lawyer for the Kanawha County Public Defender Corporation. His trial accomplishments include obtaining an acquittal in a stolen vehicle case where the client was caught driving the stolen vehicle with the ignition punched out. He also successfully argued a motion for judgment of acquittal for a client charged with kidnapping and felony murder. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking and dressing up his festively plump cat. Send email


Andrew R. Shumate graduated from Mercer University School of Law in 2012. After clerking for a circuit judge, Andrew opened a solo practice, which operated until 2018. His experience is primarily in criminal law and child abuse and neglect law. He also serves as a member of the West Virginia State Bar's Criminal Law Committee and Appellate Committee. Send email


Rhonda Ashworth is the legal secretary for the Appellate Advocacy Division.  Her experience includes 10 years of service as a deputy clerk in the municipal court system and the administrative management of a family owned business.   Before her transfer to Public Defender Services, she was a legal secretary for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corporation.

Sarah E. Saul is a paralegal in the Appellate Advocacy Division.  Sarah has almost twenty (20) years of experience in the legal field.  In 2002, Sarah received her certificate from the American Institute of Paralegal Studies.  Sarah’s previous employers include Jackson Kelly PLLC and Nationwide Trial Division. Sarah is a certified paralegal with the National Association of Legal Assistants.