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Joshua J. Felsen

Deputy State’s Attorney,
Office of State’s Attorney for Howard County

Joshua J. Felsen is an accomplished attorney with more than 15 years of experience prosecuting everything from white-collar crimes to high-profile, homicide cases. He has worked in various divisions within The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office investigating a wide-ranging array of criminal matters. In early 2019, he joined the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Felsen received Bachelor of Arts degrees, cum laude, in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland College Park in 1998. While in college, he studied abroad at Universidad Laica Vicente Rocafuerte in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In 2002, Mr. Felsen graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law and was admitted to the Maryland Bar.

Following law school, he began his prosecutorial career in The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. Mr. Felsen served in the Juvenile, District, Misdemeanor Jury Trial, General Felony, and FIVE (Firearms Investigations Violence Enforcement) divisions before being promoted to the Homicide Division in 2007. While in the Homicide Division, he prosecuted over twenty jury trials to verdict. In 2012, Mr. Felsen transferred to the Economic Crimes Division, where in 2014, he was promoted to Division Chief. Mr. Felsen also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney from 2013-2016.

Mr. Felsen currently sits on the Maryland Identity Theft Working Group and the Maryland Office of the Attorney General Fraud and Corruption Task Force. He is also a member of the James Macgill American Inn of the Court.

Mr. Felsen is the recipient of the 2018 Public Service Award from IASIU (International Association of Special Investigation Units) for his efforts in prosecuting insurance fraud.

Joshua-J-Felson

Christopher A. Sandmann

Deputy State’s Attorney,
Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County

Sandmann’s legal career began in the spring of 2001 when he was hired as a law clerk in the Homicide Unit at The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. For over 15 years, he prosecuted hundreds of felony cases dealing with crimes involving shootings, handguns, serious assaults, armed robberies, carjackings, felony drug crimes and wiretaps, as well as large-scale economic crimes. During his tenure in Baltimore City, he also tried well-over 50 jury trials to verdict.

In early 2019, he joined the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office and is now responsible for overseeing the annual budget, office operations and policy formulation.

Sandmann received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Finance in 1998 from Miami University in Oxford, OH. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law and was admitted to the Maryland Bar.

Christopher A. Sandmann

Mary V. Murphy

Special Assistant State’s Attorney,
Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County

Mary Murphy is a veteran prosecutor who has been praised for her work on a wide range of cases including homicide, child abuse, narcotics and property crime. She has been with the HoCoSAO since 1991, when she first joined as an Assistant State’s Attorney. She has worked in various capacities during her time at the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Ms. Murphy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Wheaton College and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Over the past twenty-five years, Ms. Murphy has been an active member in several professional and non-professional organizations, giving back her time and expertise when needed. In 1998, she was the recipient of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award in Prosecution.

She is a fount of knowledge in the office, with everyone from entry level to senior attorneys coming to her for advice on matters related to current cases and the historical background of previous cases.

Before joining the HoCoSAO, Murphy was a litigation associate at the Baltimore City law firm of Weinberg and Green.

Mary-V-Murphy

Victoria L. Rand

Office Administrator,
Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County

Victoria is a self-motivated manager with solid organizational and leadership skills. Throughout the course of her many office projects, it is evident she possesses an ability to provide exceptional customer service and goes above and beyond the normal course of duty to complete assigned tasks.

Rand has worked in Howard County Government in various capacities over the last four years. In her current position, she is responsible for supervising a staff of 76 employees including training and maintaining personnel files. She also oversees an annual fiscal budget of over $8 million dollars, including payments and receivables. In her current position, she also serves as fiscal grant manager and payroll timekeeper. In addition, she is also responsible for implementing new processes and more efficient procedures related to IT management.

Prior to joining the HoCoSAO, Ms. Rand worked in various managerial positions for Verizon Wireless and other local businesses. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Frostburg State University and has several certifications in different industries.

Victoria-L-Rand

Yolanda M. Vazquez

External Affairs Director,
Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County

Yolanda Vazquez is a multiple award-winning journalist with nearly two decades’ experience in the television industry both on-camera and behind-the-scenes roles.  She joined the Howard County State’s Attorney’s office in the spring of 2019 and is responsible for developing a consistent communications plan that advances the office’s mission both externally and internally, including coordinating major community events, pitching stories to the media, and organizing speaking engagements for the State’s Attorney.

Prior to joining HoCoSAO, Ms. Vazquez worked as a general assignment reporter at Maryland Public Television and WJZ-TV in Baltimore. Earlier in her career, she took on reporting gigs in Kentucky, Texas and Florida. Ms. Vazquez has earned numerous awards, ranging from two Emmy Awards and a pair of Associated Press Awards to several silver and bronze Telly Awards. She is also an alumna of Boston University where Ms. Vazquez earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcasting and film.

Email: yvazquez@howardcountymd.gov

Yolanda Vazquez

Unit Chiefs

Danielle Duclaux

Chief of Juvenile Division

Ms. Duclaux handles all cases involving juveniles that come through our office. She began her tenure with the HoCoSAO in 1996. She not only handles cases involving juveniles, but also elder abuse, vulnerable adults and serious traffic collisions. Ms. Duclaux graduated from SUNY at Binghamton with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She received her law degree from George Washington Law School.

Danielle Duclaux

Mike McAllister

Chief of General Crimes Unit

McAllister joined the HoCoSAO in the spring of 2019 as the Deputy Chief of our Major Crimes Unit (MCU). In his current role, he provides direct supervision to the general crimes trial team who prosecute cases  in Circuit Court. Before joining the HoCoSAO, McAllister worked at The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office as a Team Captain in their Major Investigations Unit and prior to that at The Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office as a Team Leader in their Felony Narcotics and Firearms Unit. McAllister graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Brockport and received his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2004.

Michael-McAllister

Devora W. Kirschner

Chief of District Court Division

Ms. Kirschner began her tenure at the HoCoSAO in 2001 as a member of the District Court Division. Throughout the next decade, she helped create and expand a more formalized Domestic Violence Unit, largely in part by securing grant funding which increased staffing. She later became Chief of the DV Unit in 2008. That same year, she co-established, with the Howard County Police Department, the Howard County Domestic Violence Fatality and Near Fatality Review Team. In 2011, she became a member of the Circuit Court Division, where she handled felony cases including domestic violence, animal cruelty, robbery, controlled dangerous substances, and homicides.  In April of 2019, Ms. Kirschner was appointed to Deputy Chief of the Special Victims Unit, where she currently handles a majority of the office’s felony domestic violence and animal cruelty cases, as well as other Special Victim Unit cases.  Before her tenure at the HoCoSAO, Devora worked as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable D. Warren Donohue, a now-retired judge of the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Ms. Kirschner graduated from Rutgers College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science. She received her J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.

Devora W. Kirschner

Chelsea Cross

Director of Victim/Witness Unit

Chelsea Cross has been with the Howard County State's Attorney's Office for 16 years. As a graduate from Shippensburg University with a degree in Criminal Justice, she the joined the Victim Witness Unit working on domestic violence cases with the Special Victims Unit. In 2020, she transferred to the Circuit Court Division, where she has been working with the General Crimes and Major Crimes Units. In 2022, Chelsea was promoted to Chief of the Victim Witness Unit.

Chelsea completed her Master's Degree in Public Administration in 2017 and regularly attends of variety of trainings focused on victim advocacy, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

Photo of Chelsea Cross Victim Witness Director

Doug Nelsen

Chief of Major Crimes Unit

Mr. Nelsen joined the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office in the spring of 2003. Since then, he has prosecuted a large number of felony drug cases along with robbery, burglary, white-collar theft and murder. He currently supervises a team of felony prosecutors. Prior to his time at the HoCoSAO, Mr. Nelsen worked for the Office of the State’s Attorney in Carroll County and served as a law clerk under the Honorable Raymond J. Kane, Circuit Court for Howard County and other law offices. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, from SUNY-ESF-College of Environmental Science and Forestry located in Syracuse, New York. He received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1999.

Doug-Nelsen

Antonio Gioia

Chief of Body Worn Camera Unit

Antonio Gioia is a seasoned attorney with over 35 years of experience. After graduating from the University of Baltimore School of Law, Tony worked for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender trial team. Tony also worked for the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, serving as the Chief of the Narcotics Division, Chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit, and the Deputy State’s Attorney of Major Crimes while there.

Tony joined the Howard County State's Attorney's Office in October 2021 and has been serving as the Chief of Body Worn Camera Unit.

Photo of Antonio Gioia Chief of Body Worn Camera Unio

Deputy Unit Chiefs

Jennifer Ritter

Deputy Unit Chief of Special Victims Unit

Jennifer W. Ritter has been with the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office since 2005.  During her time in the office, she has specialized in child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking cases.  Prior to joining the office, Ritter clerked for the Honorable Clayton Greene, Jr. on the appellate courts of the State. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in Political Science for her undergraduate studies and is an alumna of the Baltimore School of Law, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Photo of Jen Ritter Deputy Chief of SVU

Youngju An

Deputy Chief of District Court

Youngju An joined the Howard County State's Attorney's Office in March of 2019.  Before coming to Howard County, she was an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for 15 years where she prosecuted juvenile crimes and crimes involving felony drug crimes, handguns, drug trafficking, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, home invasion, and wiretaps.  She was also a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) prosecutor where she investigated and prosecuted drug traffickers. She has tried over 50 jury and bench trials to verdict.

Ms. An received a Bachelor of Science in Business and a minor in English at Virginia Tech before receiving an MBA from Pennsylvania State University.  She then received her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Youngju An

Reva Chopra

Deputy Chief of Body Worn Camera Unit

Reva Chopra is a highly skilled attorney with over 20 years of criminal litigation experience. After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law, Reva served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Anne Arundel County, working with the District Court Division, the Juvenile Division, the Property Crimes Division, and the Special Victims Unit. She has also served as the Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit in Caroline County State's Attorney's Office, and as Assistant Chief Counsel in the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Department of Homeland Security.

Reva joined the Howard County State's Attorney's Office in February of 2022 and has been serving as the Deputy Chief of Body Worn Camera Unit.

Picture of Reva Chopra Deputy Chief of Body Worn Camera Unit