By Matt de Simone
Botetourt County’s departments consist of hardworking, driven, and accomplished employees who continue to make Botetourt a wonderful place to live.
Botetourt County Commonwealth’s Attorney John Alexander has worked in Botetourt County for 16 years.
“I actually came (to working within the judicial system) kind of late,” Alexander said in a recent interview. “My dad was a Commonwealth’s attorney and judge. Ultimately, I decided to go to law school. It was really in law school that I discovered that criminal law was my area of interest. So after a few years in private practice, I realized that’s where I needed to be.”
Alexander, a Warrenton, Va. native, graduated from George Mason Law School in 1989 and passed the Virginia bar exam. He spent some time in private practice, including a period working with Phillip Coulter and Judge Jack Coulter in Roanoke, which induced Alexander to move to Roanoke in 1993.
“I was very, very fortunate to work with those two gentlemen,” Alexander mentioned.
In 1994, Alexander and his wife, Danielle, moved to Blue Ridge from Roanoke County. They lived in Blue Ridge until 2005, then moved to a Troutville address where they currently reside.
“Danielle and I have been married for 29 years,” Alexander explained. “She is a Senior Community Liaison for Good Samaritan Hospice in Roanoke. We have three children. Our oldest son lives in Blue Ridge with his wife and 15-month-old son and works for Allstate as well as being a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve. Our younger son (25) is an active-duty Marine sergeant stationed in Tampa, Fla., and our daughter graduated from Virginia Tech and works for Farm Credit in Daleville.”
Alexander became a prosecutor in 1996 when he went to work for the Roanoke County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. He worked there until 2006, when he came to work for Joel Branscom in the Botetourt Commonwealth Attorney’s Office as the chief deputy. In 2018 when Joel became “Judge Branscom,” Alexander became the acting Commonwealth’s attorney. He became the elected Commonwealth’s attorney after a special election in 2018 and was re-elected to a four-year term in 2019.
“I am extremely fortunate to have Gillian (Jill) Deegan as my chief deputy and Chad Simmons and Marshall Lukacs as assistants in my office,” Alexander said. “Jill is a career prosecutor who is an internationally recognized expert in cases involving animals and is a highly respected teacher/trainer for law enforcement and prosecutors and a great ‘front-line’ prosecutor. Chad is a VMI grad who worked as a prosecutor in Roanoke City for several years before coming to my office. Chad is a lifelong Botetourt resident. Marshall is our Juvenile & Domestic prosecutor and has 20-plus years of experience as a criminal trial lawyer, including prosecution and defense work.”
These days, when Alexander isn’t in the courtroom or his office, he finds himself working around his house. He enjoys living in Botetourt and is excited about the county’s growth and direction.
“I feel like Botetourt is really making use of its resources,” Alexander added. “The agricultural nature of Botetourt is being valued. Of course, it changed a tremendous amount in terms of Daleville and some of the places that have grown up, but it is still the same Botetourt County that I fell in love with when I first moved here. When I lived in Fauquier County, it was a much more rural, agricultural area and has since become sort of a suburb of Washington, D.C. Living in Botetourt is much more like the place where I grew up. Botetourt hasn’t changed dramatically, but it has changed incrementally, and it has changed incrementally in the right direction.”
To learn more about the Botetourt County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, visit the Botetourt County website at botetourtva.gov/518/Commonwealths-Attorney.