FARMINGTON — Joseph Lanter began his duties last month as an assistant prosecuting attorney for St. Francois County.
Lanter was hired at the beginning of May to replace Bill Backer who went on to work in private practice in St. Louis.
On his first day on the job, Prosecuting Attorney Wendy Wexler Horn assigned Lanter to handle a preliminary hearing in which he presented evidence to prove there was enough evidence to move a criminal case from the associate court level to the circuit court level for trial setting.
“And I won,” he said.
Lanter, who is originally from Kansas City, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2005. He said he did a lot of mock trial work in law school so he is fairly familiar with the courtroom. He has worked as a law clerk and interned with the public defender’s office when he was in law school.
He said when this opportunity became available, he knew it was exactly what he wanted to do. He said he wants to be in the courtroom and he wants to do criminal law and this is the best way to learn.
He added he wanted to practice law in a small town and he has friends in the Farmington area.
He said it is daunting and a little tiring being the “new guy.” He said there is so much to learn and so many different people to meet.
“I’m excited to learn from everyone in the office, especially Wendy (Wexler Horn),” he said.
Horn’s other assistants include Pat King, Bill Bryant and Jeremy Brauer.
When he does have spare time, Lanter enjoys playing the guitar and barbecuing. His family competes in barbecue contests.