Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association   go to mobile site Home Contact Us
Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association

About OPAA For Members Resources & Materials Press Room Events

President Ferrero

On behalf of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association let me welcome you to our web page.  It is my hope the information contained within will help you better understand the role of Ohio’s county prosecutors. An Ohio county prosecutor has a variety of roles and responsibilities other than as the chief criminal prosecutor within each county.   As legal counsel to a variety of County elected officials, offices and agencies your county prosecutor assists in ensuring efficient and responsible county government.  A Prosecutor’s primary role is to assist in promoting the safety and protection of individuals, families and our communities.  Administering justice for victims of crime and the citizens of our State is one responsibility in carrying out this role.  The position of county prosecutor also encompasses the obligation that all parties to the prosecution receive a fair trial based upon the laws and procedures in place at that time. Please take your time and look around.  Hopefully you will find information here that is educational, informative and relevant about your county prosecutor.

John D. Ferrero
Stark County Prosecutor
2015 OPAA President

Ohio's Judicial System: What you should know.

- what do county prosecutors do

- the grand jury

- plea agreements

- DNA testing

- death penalty

- roster of elected prosecutors

Upcoming Events:

Executive and Legislative Committee Meetings
October 22, 2015
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton
Legislative 10:00, Executive 11:00, Lunch 12:30

Juvenile Prosecutor Training
October 1, 2015
Frank B. Willis Government Building, Delaware

Annual Meeting
December 3rd and 4th, 2015
Hilton Columbus Downtown

Visit the Events page for full schedule of upcoming OPAA activities.




OPAA Member Profile:
Dennis Watkins
Trumbull County Prosecutor
Dennis Watkins (on right) has been the Trumbull County Prosecutor since 1984. He began his career with the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office in 1971 as a legal intern, rising through the ranks before becoming Chief-Counsel of the Criminal Division in 1979. He graduated from Youngstown State University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science. In 1973, he received his Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, School of Law. During his career, Mr. Watkins has successfully prosecuted 45 murder trials, and has personally obtained convictions which resulted in nine (9) of the eleven (11) Trumbull County murderers who have been sentenced to death under the Ohio law. He has also won arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court on many of these cases, upholding various convictions and the sentences. Most recently, he successfully presented arguments along with victims' family members to the Ohio Parole Board and the Governor of Ohio against clemency for three of the Defendants that he personally tried. As a result, all three killers were denied clemency, and the sentences were carried out. Jason Getsy was executed on August 19, 2009; Kenneth Biros was executed on December 8, 2009; and Roderick Davie was executed on August 10, 2010. As Trumbull County Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Watkins established the Trumbull County Homicide Task Force to promote better cooperation between police departments, prosecutors and the coroner's office in homicide investigations and prosecutions. In 1986, he applied for and received one of only nine national grants for the creation of the Child Assault Prosecution Unit. He also established the Victim/Witness Division in Trumbull County before such programs were mandated by state law. In 2012, the Child Assault Prosecution Program was expanded to include a child pornography and cyber abuse unit in the county. Mr. Watkins is active in the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association as a member of the Executive Committee, a position he has held since 1985. He also was President of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association in 1991, served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of District Attorneys in 1992, and was a Member of the Advisory Board for the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse in 1987. Further, in 2010, Mr. Watkins was named Outstanding Prosecuting Attorney of the Year by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and also received, from the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, the Citizens' Service Award. He has been an instructor and lecturer for the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and various other organizations and schools over the years as a prosecutor. He has been a certified instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council since 1974 and currently is a limited service instructor at the Trumbull County Branch of Kent State University. He is licensed to practice before all of the Courts in Ohio, including The Supreme Court of Ohio. He is also certified to appear before the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is also a member of the National Association of District Attorneys; The Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation, Ohio State Bar Association, Trumbull County Bar Association, and Leadership Mahoning Valley. Additionally Mr. Watkins is listed in Martindale-Hubbell, which is the authoritative resource for information on the worldwide legal profession. Mr Watkins is rated in the top category "AV," which "indicates very high to preeminent legal ability and very high ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar."

Locate Your County Prosecutor
Follow Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association
Copyright © 2012, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to RSS feeds