BENTON, Mo. (AP) — A prosecutor in southeast Missouri’s Scott County has been named a new associate circuit judge for the county.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday appointed assistant prosecutor Blake Pearson as the replacement to retiring judge William Winchester, who presided over juvenile and probate cases.

Pearson has been a Scott County prosecutor since 2013 and has served as special prosecutor in drug cases involving Scott, Bollinger and Mississippi counties.

Pearson served as interim prosecuting attorney while Paul Boyd was deployed in Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014.

Pearson had been a Buchanan County public defender from 1996 through 1998.