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Longtime public defender John Adams to retire this week in Coeur d’Alene

UPDATED: Tue., March 7, 2017, 4:44 p.m.

John Adams, Kootenai County Chief Public Defender, consults with Bill Douglas, Kootenai County prosecuting attorney, left, before a hearing in the case against Joseph Edward Duncan Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006 in the courtroom at the Public Safety Building. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
John Adams, Kootenai County Chief Public Defender, consults with Bill Douglas, Kootenai County prosecuting attorney, left, before a hearing in the case against Joseph Edward Duncan Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006 in the courtroom at the Public Safety Building. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

COEUR D’ALENE - Longtime public defender John Adams has announced that he will retire later this week.

Adams, who has served as the Kootenai County Public Defender since 1996, will step down effective Thursday.

He was honored in 2010 by the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association for running “what may be the best public defense structure in the state.” He also received Idaho State Bar Outstanding Service Award in 2009 and the ACLU Dave Judy Civil Rights Award in 2014 for his commitment and service to advancing civil rights in Idaho.

“Mr. Adams’ impact on the criminal justice system will be felt long after his departure,” administrative supervisor Jamie Woods said in a news release. “County has been privileged to have him at the helm for so many years and we wish him good luck.”

Adams has represented scores of high-profile clients in his time in Coeur d’Alene, including convicted serial killer Joseph Duncan.

Most recently, Adams prepared to defend Jonathan Renfro, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Coeur d’Alene police Sgt. Greg Moore.


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