On October 1, 2020, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Alan Z. Thornburg appointed Sam Snead as the Chief Public Defender for Buncombe County, filling the seat made vacant by the retirement of M. LeAnn Melton. Pursuant to North Carolina law, the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge appoints the Chief Public Defender for each defender district.
“Mr. Snead has a passion for providing excellent legal services to indigent clients at every level of the criminal process and an innovative, community-focused approach to managing the public defender’s office,” said Judge Thornburg. “Buncombe County will be well served.”
Snead was an assistant capital defender with the Office of the Capital Defender since 2015. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant public defender in Buncombe County since 1998. Snead was raised in Boone, North Carolina, and received his undergraduate degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. Snead earned a Juris Doctor from the District of Columbia School of Law, where he graduated with honors in 1996.
This photo shows his wife, attorney Anna Hamrick, holding the Bible as he swears in.