John J. Wakefield
Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 9
During the fall of his Senior year at Purdue University, John watched with the rest of the world as the attacks of 9/11 unfolded. He decided then and there to pursue a life of public service to Americans. Due to a medical condition, he was disqualified from enlisting in the military. He ultimately decided to contribute by becoming an Assistant District Attorney. Now, John seeks to continue his commitment to public service by becoming the judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law no. 9.
John is currently working as a Felony Chief Prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He has served the DA’s office since 2006 and has held positions such as:
- Misdemeanor Chief Prosecutor
- Felony Chief Prosecutor – Trial Bureau
- Felony Chief Prosecutor – Consumer Fraud
- Felony Chief Prosecutor – Major Fraud
- Felony Chief Prosecutor – Intake Division
- Child Exploitation Prosecutor
- Juvenile Division Trial Court Prosecutor
John became board certified in Criminal Law in 2016. Within the Texas legal community, Board Certification means an attorney has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law, as well as demonstrated and tested special competence in that area of law.
For more information please go to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization at www.tbls.org
John was commissioned as a Texas Peace Officer in 2011. John holds the rank of Investigator and is a TCOLE Certified Peace Officer and a TCOLE Certified Cybercrimes Investigator. Being both a peace officer and a lawyer provides John with a unique perspective on criminal law.
John received the following awards and citations:
- Chief of Police Unit Citation, 2017; Houston Police Department
– for exceptional performance of duty resulting from the combined efforts of a multi-department and multi-agency team of professionals.
- Distinguished Service Award, 2013; Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce
– for outstanding service in support of child exploitation and cybercrime law enforcement and prosecution.
- Team Excellence Award, 2010;
Children Assessment Centers of Texas
– for outstanding service in the field of prosecution of child sexual abuse crimes.
- Texas State Congressional Testimony, 2011
– Testified as a witness for the 82nd Legislative Session (2011)
South Texas College of Law: John attained his Doctor of Jurisprudence in May 2007 from South Texas College of Law in Houston. While attending South Texas, John achieved the following:
- Best Overall Advocate: T. Gerald Treece Summer Mock Trial Academy, 2006
- South Texas Varsity Advocate: Lonestar National Mock Trial Championship, October, 2006
- Quarter-finalist: Gallagher, Louis and Kim Intramural Mock Trial Competition, 2005
John received his Bachelors of Arts in May 2002 from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. He graduated with a major in History and a minor in Business Management.
Swimming & Olympic Trials:
John swam on the Purdue University swim team and qualified for the US Olympic Trials.
United States Olympic Trial Competitor, Swimming, 2000
- Big-Ten Conference Swimming Championship Finalist, 1998, 2000, 2001
- Four-year Purdue University Varsity Swimmer, 1997-2001
- Jr. National Swimming Championship Gold Medalist, 1999
- Four-time Purdue Athletic Department Academic Recognition, 1997-2001
John has participated in several speaking and teaching engagements:
“Panel Luncheon Topic: Practical challenges of Political and Regulatory Decision Making,” Energy Conference Network, Houston Cyber Summit, April 2017.
“Voir Dire Example,” Prosecutor Trial Skills Course, Texas County and District Attorney’s Association, July 2017.
“Troll or Defendant? The Discretion Sweet Spot,” Cybercrime Seminar, Texas County and District Attorney’s Association, June 2017.
“Eye Witness Evidence,” TCOLE, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, May 2017.
“Practical challenges of Political and Regulatory Decision Making,” Houston Cyber Summit, Panel Discussion, April 2017.
“Eyewitness Identification,” Prosecuting Violent Crime Seminar, Texas County and District Attorney’s Association, April 2017.
“Punishment Evidence in Child Abuse Cases,” Crimes Against Children Seminar, Texas County and District Attorney’s Association, April 2016.
Faculty Advisor, Prosecutor Trial Skills Course, Texas County and District Attorney’s Association, July 2015, January 2016, July 2017.
“Jury Trial Punishment Evidence,” Prosecutor Trials Skills Course, Texas County and District Attorney’s Association, July 2015.
“Courtroom Presence and Testimony” Alvin Police Academy, 2011, 2012.
“Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education Cybercrimes Investigator Certification Course,” Harris County Precinct Four Constable’s Office, 2011.
“Protecting Yourself from Child Predators,” NASA Health Sciences Division, 2011.
Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 9
John married his wife, Sarah, in 2005. They have three smart and lovely daughters who enjoy everything related to Star Wars.