Atlanta, April 26, 2017 – Judge Melanie B. Cross of the Superior Court of the Tifton Judicial Circuit has been designated to serve in place of Justice Nels S. D. Peterson in the appeal of The State v. Hayes (S16G1723). The Supreme Court of Georgia will hear arguments in the case on May 2, 2017 during its 10:00 A.M. session. In this Fulton County Case, the District Attorney is appealing a Georgia Court of Appeals ruling that reversed the convictions and sentence given to a man convicted a fourth time of burglary on the ground that the trial judge improperly participated in the man’s guilty plea proceedings. In addition to hearing arguments, Judge Cross will participate in the Court’s decision.

Judge Cross, 50, was elected to the bench in 2008 and began her first term in 2009. She has run unopposed for reelection twice. Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Cross was in private practice in Tifton. She also spent more than 12 years as a Special Assistant Attorney General, representing the State of Georgia and the Department of Human Resources.

Judge Cross received an Associate Degree in Science, with honors, from Abraham Baldwin College in 1987. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance magna cum laude from the University of Georgia in 1989. She graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in 1992, where she served on the Mercer Law Review.

Judge Cross has served on a variety of committees for the Council of Superior Court Judges, including the Bench and Bar Committee, the Legislative Committee and the Continuing Education Committee. Judge Cross and her team recently started the first drug court in the Tifton Judicial Circuit.

She is married to Ray Cross and they have three sons. They reside in Tifton and enjoy being active in the community. Judge Cross and her family attend St. Anne’s Episcopal Church.

(Designated judges are appointed when a justice must recuse himself or herself from a particular case. The Supreme Court of Georgia maintains a list of select judges from around the state and when the need arises, the Court appoints the next judge on the list.)