Charles Yeargan of Glenwood, circuit judge for the Ninth West Judicial District, Division Two, announced this week that he plans to retire next year, after 24 years on the bench.
Yeargan’s announcement came in the form of a public letter distributed to sheriffs, court personnel and others.
“I decided to announce my retirement now, well in advance of the 2020 election, so my intentions would be clear. After 23 years on the bench, it’s time for a change,” Yeargan said.
“I’m proud of the time I’ve spent as a judge, and I’m proud of the significant strides we’ve made in improving courtroom operations to keep up with changes in technology and the law. I always hoped I would be able to leave the courtroom in just a little bit better shape than I found it, and I hope my successor will be able to do the same.”
Yeargan is a lifelong resident of Pike County. He graduated from Glenwood High School and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration in 1973 and a Juris Doctor degree from law school in 1976.
He was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in 1976 and engaged in private practice in Glenwood until he was elected Circuit Judge in 1996. He has been re-elected four times without opposition and began his 19th year on the bench on January 1, 2015. He is a member of the Arkansas Judicial Council and serves on the Judicial Retirement Committee, Judicial Education Committee, Trial Court Employees Committee and as chairman of the Judicial Resource Assessment Committee (JRAC). He previously served two separate terms on the board of directors, and on the Arkansas Supreme Court Criminal Model Jury Instruction Committee and the Criminal Law Practice Committee to the Arkansas Supreme Court where he served as Chairman of both committees.
He has presided over the Ninth West Judicial Drug Court since December of 2003.
Prior to being elected Circuit Judge, he served six years as Pike County Municipal Judge, 10 years as Pike County deputy prosecuting attorney, nine years on the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission, and 17 years as city attorney for Glenwood.
Judge Yeargan and his wife Donna Kay reside in Glenwood and have three children and five grandchildren.