DANA F. EDDY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dana F. Eddy is a graduate of Salem College, West Virginia, with a double major in mathematics and public administration, and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School. Effective July 1, 2013, Dana was appointed by the Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor of the State of West Virginia, to the position of Executive Director of Public Defender Services, a West Virginia state agency. He has continued in this position during the administration of the Honorable Jim Justice. Before his appointment, Dana was in private practice, which included service on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of West Virginia. Dana’s other positions have included serving as the Managing Trial Attorney in West Virginia for Nationwide Trial Division; an equity partner at the law firm of Jackson & Kelly; General Counsel to the Honorable Gaston Caperton, Governor of the State of West Virginia; and in-house litigation counsel for One Valley Bancorp. Dana is an avid tennis player, at which he is average, and avid reader of fiction, at which he is pretty good.
MARK A. DOYLE, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
With a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State University, Mark has worked for the State of West Virginia since August 1993. He began his career with the Division of Motor Vehicles, first as a Customer Service Representative processing titles and registrations then as an Administrative Services Assistant, processing receivables, conducting internal audits and assisting in the preparation of the yearly appropriation request and expenditure schedule. In January 1998 Mark transferred to the Dept. of Environmental Protection to become the Accounts Payable Manager. For the next 14 years he managed and participated in all aspects of the DEP payment process, from the audit of invoices, employee travel reimbursements, and purchasing card payment processing and auditing. In January 2012 he accepted the role of Accounts Payable Lead for the wvOASIS project. Mark worked closely with the wvOASIS State Financial Team, their partners ISG, and their vendor CGI in the development of the state’s new financial system to assure the future accounts payable needs for the State of West Virginia were met. In October 2014 he became a full time ERP Board employee with the wvOASIS Finance Team as a Senior Finance Manager. Mark transferred March 2017 to Public Defender Services (PDS) to become the Chief Financial Officer, overseeing the financial and budgetary processes of the agency, including the procurement function. Serving as the agency’s liaison with the Division of Finance and the Governor’s Budget Office. He served as the Agency Purchasing Card Coordinator and Agency Procurement Officer, ensuring compliance with State Auditor’s Office and Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures. In June of 2019 Mark left PDS to become the Assistant to the Commissioner and Acting Director of Fiscal and Administrative Management at Workforce WV. He had oversight of all federal reporting, procurement, and payables. It was a brief but interesting time Mark spent at Workforce WV. He returned to PDS in October 2019 to resume his role as Chief Financial Officer.
In his spare time Mark loves anything outdoors. He likes to work in his yard, bike, hunt, fish, enjoy all the natural beauty the great State of West Virginia has to offer. Mark is at his happiest when he is outside.
DONALD L. STENNETT, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Donald joined Public Defender Services as the Chief Operating Officer in 2014. He serves as the co-director of the Criminal Law Research Center, final editor for the W. Va. Jury Instructions, final editor for the online Motions Bank, and agency Human Relations liaison to the Department of Personnel. Donald has 38 years of litigation experience, including serving as an Assistant U. S. Attorney (Southern District of West Virginia), Private Defense for Federal Criminal cases, a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel defending criminal cases, Insurance Defense, and a Mediator. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Concord University, and a J.D. from WVU School of Law.
BRENDA K. THOMPSON, GENERAL COUNSEL
Brenda Thompson has served as General Policy Counsel for Public Defender Services since 2015. She also serves as Legislative Liaison, Voucher Billing Auditor, Special Projects Coordinator, and primary staff to the Indigent Defense Commission. Before coming to the agency, she served as Committee Counsel for various committees of the West Virginia Legislature. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and reading.
LEEANN M. DOYLE, DIRECTOR OF APPOINTED COUNSEL SERVICES
LeeAnn joined the Public Defender Services team as the Director of Appointed Counsel Services in 2019. Prior to working at PDS, she was the Business Manager and Fundraising Coordinator for the YMCA of Kanawha Valley for 23 years. LeeAnn holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Marshall University. She enjoys traveling, dining out, and doing yoga in her free time.
JONATHAN FRILEY, PUBLIC DEFENDER CORPORATION (PDC) ADMINISTRATOR
Jonathan graduated from WVU College of Law in 2008, where he was active in the ADR Society (President), Phi Alpha Delta (President), OUTLaw, and other organizations. He is a vocal advocate of process improvement methods (Lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma), Just Culture, Crucial Conversations, and other topics that have labeled him the office management geek, a title he lovingly embraces.
As PDC Administrator, Jonathan is responsible for overseeing eighteen independent non-state agencies, consisting of approximately two hundred fifty employees across twenty-four offices and comprising a total budget of around 19.2 million dollars. In addition to his PDC duties, Jonathan participates in brainstorming sessions and moot court with the Appellate Division, assists in organizing the annual conference, and serves as the internal tech consultant for the office.
Prior to joining PDS in 2014, Jonathan was the Office Manager of the Thirtieth Judicial Circuit PDC in Williamson. Send email
STEPHANNE THORNTON, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SPECIALIST
Stephanne Thornton is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Graduate School of Social Work. She has been clinically licensed as a social worker and addiction counselor since 2004 and currently holds a Master Addiction Counselor certificate through NAADAC and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker through the West Virginia Board of Social Work. Stephanne has worked as a mitigation specialist and sentencing advocate in indigent criminal defense offices in Georgia and West Virginia. She has presented various trainings on topics such as mitigation, sentencing advocacy, and criminal offender assessments. Send email
JESSICA HUDNALL, PDC RESOURCE CENTER COORDINATOR
Jessica joined Public Defender Services as the PDC Resource Center Coordinator in 2017. In this role, she serves as a liaison between the public defender corporations and PDS and provides logistical support to the other PDCRC team members. She also enjoys contributing to celebrations for any and all holidays and birthdays at PDS. Prior to working at PDS, Jessica was a caregiver providing in home healthcare. She graduated from Riverside High School and attended West Virginia University Institute of Technology. Jessica is the proud mother of two sons—Aiden and Nolan—and can be found pursuing her interests in basketball and minerals in her free time. Send email
LORA G. WALKER, STAFF ATTORNEY
Lora is an attorney in the Habeas Corpus Division. She is a graduate of Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law. While in law school, Lora worked as a Student Attorney for the West Virginia Innocence Project and served as a summer law clerk for the Honorable Michael J. Aloi, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia. She has also been Senior Tech Editor of Family Law Quarterly, worked as the Social Media Liaison for the WVU Law Academic Excellence Center, and was appointed to the WVU Graduate Council, where she served as the law school representative for two years. Lora began working with the Habeas Corpus Division of Public Defender Services in 2019 and specializes in post-conviction work and has the privilege of representing indigent prisoners from all across West Virginia. send email
GORDON SIMMONS, INVESTIGATOR
Gordon Simmons received a Master of Arts degree from Marshall University in 1983. While working at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in 2001, he began representing public employees and investigating and preparing grievances, doing so full-time from 2008 until 2019. He is now the investigator for the Habeas Corpus Division. send email
KARISSA BLACKBURN, STAFF ATTORNEY
Karissa P. Blackburn serves as an attorney in the Habeas Corpus Division. She works on a variety of complex post-conviction habeas corpus matters, including actual innocence, newly discovered evidence, and ineffective assistance of counsel. Previously, Karissa served as a West Virginia Fund for Law and the Public Interest Post-Graduate Fellow at the Kanawha County Public Defender’s office. During her fellowship she consistently argued on behalf of her clients drafting motions and appearing in Charleston Municipal and Kanawha County Family Courts. While at the KCPD office, she successfully obtained mass habeas corpus relief for approximately 20 incarcerated people based on the threat of COVID-19. Karissa received her undergraduate degree from West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism and her law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. While in law school, she, along with her team in the West Virginia Innocence Project, secured a new trial for a client who was wrongfully convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2007. Karissa is a book worm and enjoys spending time with her yorkie puppy, Judge. send email
JORDAN GUNNOE, STAFF ATTORNEY
Jordan Gunnoe is an attorney in the Habeas Division. She received her J.D. from WVU in 2020 and her Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications with an area of emphasis in Public Relations from WVU in 2016. In law school, Jordan was a member of the student group Public Interest Advocates. She spent the summer after her 1L year working for Legal Aid of West Virginia in Charleston and the summer after her 2L year working for the Kanawha County Public Defender’s Office. During her third year of law school, Jordan worked at the WV Innocence Project.
STEVE THOMPSON, PARALEGAL
Steve Thompson is a Paralegal with Public Defender Services. Steve is a Graduate of West Virginia University and is a retired 20-year veteran Legislative Analyst for the WV House of Delegates. In addition to helping fight for justice, Steve enjoys cooking, gardening and the arts.
CRYSTAL L. WALDEN, DIRECTOR
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 as attorney in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corporation. During her tenure in the Kanawha County Public Defender Corporation, she worked for 8 years in the appellate division. Send email
MATTHEW BRUMMOND, APPELLATE COUNSEL
JUSTIN COLLIN, APPELLATE COUNSEL
Justin M. Collin is an attorney in the Appellate Advocacy Division. He received his undergraduate degree from Shepherd College and his law degree from WVU 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 judgement 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
GARY COLLIAS, APPELLATE COUNSEL
Gary Collias holds a J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Marshall University. Since graduation from law school, he has focused on labor law, plaintiff’s personal injury law, consumer bankruptcy, and federal and state criminal defense practice. Gary was awarded the Southern District Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney of the Year Award in 2016 and notably tried a six week-long Federal death penalty case in Charleston in 2007 (U.S. v. Valeri Friend). He has served as member of the West Virginia State Election Commission and chaired the commission from 2016 to 2018. Gary joined Public Defender Services as Appellate Counsel in 2021. Send Email
GRAHAM PLATZ, APPELLATE COUNSEL
Graham is an attorney in the Appellate Advocacy Division. A two-time graduate of West Virginia University, Graham earned his J.D. from the WVU College of Law in 2021 and a B.S. in Economics from the John Chambers College of Business and Economics in 2018. During law school, Graham was active in Moot Court and trial advocacy programs. He graduated as a member of the Order of the Barristers, a national honorary organization dedicated to written and oral advocacy. Graham's practice focuses on post conviction work, representing indigent criminal defendants in the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Send Email
RHONDA ASHWORTH, SECRETARY
Rhonda Ashworth is the legal secretary for the Appellate Advocacy Division. Her experience includes ten 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. Send email
SARAH SAUL, PARALEGAL
Blake Collias graduated from West Virginia University in 2017 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. He serves at West Virginia Public Defender Services as an administrative assistant. He originally started working at West Virginia Public Defender Services as a temporary employee who processed vouchers before becoming a full time employee and transitioning to the role of administrative assistant. He has worked at West Virginia Public Defender Services since 2018. Send email
PAMELA CLARK, COORDINATOR
Pamela Clark has been with Public Defender Services for 20 years. She began her career with the agency as a secretary, then as a legal assistant for the Appellate Advocacy Division and currently holds the position as the Coordinator for the Criminal Law Research Center. She also serves as a Notary Republic and EEO Counselor for Public Defender Services. In her spare time, she enjoys taking vacations and spending time with her family.