Carlos A. Samour will join the Colorado Supreme Court. Gov. John Hickenlooper announced his choice at the Capitol May 30.
Samour is the chief district judge for the 18th Judicial District Court. He presided over the Aurora theater shooter James Holmes' trial and currently heads a commission investigating overcrowding in Colorado jails.
He attended the University of Denver Law School. Samour was born in El Salvador and came to the U.S. in 1979 at age 13.
"That experience taught me the critical importance that an impartial, fair and independent judiciary plays in an independent society," Samour said.
The Supreme Court Nominating Commission selected Samour and two other candidates May 16. The vacancy was created by Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice's retirement after 31 years on the bench. Samour's term is effective July 2.
Hickenlooper has now chosen more than half of the Colorado Supreme Court’s seven current justices: Brian Boatright was seated in 2011, William Hood in 2014, Richard Gabriel in 2015 and Melissa Hart in 2017.
“Judge Samour complements Colorado’s Supreme Court both professionally and personally. He has presided over some of Colorado’s highest profile cases in recent history and has distinguished himself, without exception, as being fair and impartial regardless of the magnitude of the case,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper in a statement.