Craighead County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Martin E. Lilly of Jonesboro, will seek to become the Prosecuting Attorney in the Second Judicial District. The district includes Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Greene, Mississippi, and Poinsett counties.
Prosecuting Attorney Keith Crestman was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to fill the remainder of former Prosecutor Scott Ellington’s term last year after he was elected to a judge position. Crestman is ineligible to seek the office per state law.
Former deputy prosecutor Corey Seats has filed for the office along with attorney Sonia Eileen Fonticiella. Attorney Jessica Thomason had announced she would run but didn’t file.
Lilly, 56, the only currently serving prosecutor in the race, said keeping our communities safe will be his top priority. He has more than 32 years of experience as a lawyer.
“Violent crime is rising, and we are seeing that firsthand in Jonesboro,” Lilly said. “I am the only candidate in this race who has a proven track record of successfully prosecuting murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals who prey on our communities, and I look forward to using that experience to keep our communities safe.”
Lilly’s priorities for the office include an intense focus on prosecuting violent crimes and crimes against children, supporting law enforcement, and competently managing the administrative duties of the office, including the drug task force.
“The drug task force under the previous leadership of one of my opponents was a disaster. Numerous serious drug cases have been dismissed for speedy trial violations, along with hundreds of unfiled cases that were discovered after he resigned his position that ultimately had to be dismissed or plead down to misdemeanors. He even resigned his position as drug task force deputy prosecutor by e-mail and moved out of the office in the middle of the night.” Lilly said. “All of this falls squarely on the shoulders of this opponent. This kind of mismanagement is a disservice to our communities and to the men and women of law enforcement who risked their lives to make these arrests and get these dangerous drugs off our streets.”
Lilly founded the Lilly Law Firm in 1990 and has handled thousands of cases. Aside from serving as deputy prosecuting attorney in Craighead and Poinsett Counties, Lilly is a certified part-time law enforcement officer and has previously served as a constable in Craighead County.
“I have the utmost respect for our men and women serving in law enforcement, and ensuring they have the support they need will always be a top priority for me.”
Lilly is a graduate of Nettleton High School, Arkansas State University, and University of Arkansas Little Rock School of Law.
He is a member of the Craighead County Bar Association, Arkansas Bar Association, American Bar Association, the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the National Rifle Association, and the Northeast Arkansas Street Rod Association.
The election for this position will be held in conjunction with the partisan primary elections May 24.