Criminal District Attorney's Office
Welcome to the Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney's Office which is led by District Attorney Kenda Culpepper.
Ms. Culpepper was elected to the position in November 2008 and has been re-elected to office continuously since that time.
Kenda L. Culpepper
After graduating from Texas A&M University in 1989, Kenda Culpepper attended Southern Methodist University School of Law. While there, she concentrated on preparing for a trial practice. She was President of Trial Advocacy and chaired the Mock Trial Competition. In her third year, the law school faculty honored her as the top student in Trial Advocacy. She also competed as a member of the Jessup International Moot Court Team where she won 8th place in a five state area for Individual Speaker.
After graduating from SMU Law School in 1992, Ms. Culpepper joined the Dallas County District Attorney's Office where she was a prosecutor in both the misdemeanor and felony trial sections from 1992 to 1995. While there, she handled cases ranging from misdemeanor theft and DWI cases to felony drug cases, Aggravated Robbery and Murder. She received extensive trial experience in those years as she was in the courtroom almost every day of that tenure.
In December of 1995, Ms. Culpepper left the District Attorney's Office to go into private practice. While there, she practiced almost exclusively criminal law and became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1999. She became a partner at the Dallas firm of Milner and Finn, and, in 2004, she and former Judge Jim Pruitt created the law firm of Culpepper & Pruitt maintaining offices in both Dallas and Rockwall, Texas.
In November of 2008, Ms. Culpepper was honored to be elected as the Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney and became the first woman to take office as a District Attorney in the history of North Texas. She has been re-elected to subsequent four-year terms in 2010, 2014, and 2018. She supervises forty personnel (including 20 prosecutors), and her office handles almost all of the criminal prosecutions in the County of Rockwall and is comprised of the following divisions: felony and misdemeanor trial divisions, family violence, child abuse, juvenile/CPS/mental health commitments, white collar, civil, criminal appeals, and JP/bond forfeitures.
Ms. Culpepper is a past President the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, the Texas delegate to the National District Attorneys Association, and has chaired both the State Bar of Texas Criminal Justice Section and the State Bar’s Professionalism Committee. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Bar College, the Texas Bar Foundation and the TDCAA Foundation and has been recently elected as a Section Representative to the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors. In Dallas, she served as the Chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section and Criminal Law Section and also sat on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Young Lawyers Association (2002 Distinguished Service Award). Culpepper is honored to be a member of the William "Mac" Taylor American Inn of Court whose membership is restricted to law professors, judges, and lawyers who have distinguished themselves not only with their legal skills but with their high legal ethics and dedication to civility as well.
While in private practice, Ms. Culpepper was on the Board of Directors for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and a faculty member of the state-wide “Texas Trial College”. Ms. Culpepper was also on the faculty of the "WEST" (Weapons Education Safety Training) program from 1996 to 2008. She has been a guest speaker for many associations on various legal topics and has spoken at hundreds of different events and CLE’s over the last two decades.
Ms. Culpepper is the co-founder and Immediate Past Board President of the Rockwall County Children’s Advocacy Center, sits on state-wide task forces combatting issues including Family Violence, Child Abuse, and Human Trafficking, and is on the Legislative Coordinating Board of the North Texas Crime Commission. She was the Course Director for the 2016 State Bar Advanced Criminal Law Course and has served on a state-wide ad hoc committee appointed to review issues regarding eyewitness identification, Brady and their relevance to recent exonerations. In 2015, she was honored to be part of the team of lawyers and investigators who won the statewide “Lone Star Award” for their work in the capital murder conviction of former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, who killed the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and one of his assistant DA’s. She is additionally proud to have been instrumental in the creation of the first regional veteran’s court in the nation. During the COVID pandemic, Culpepper co-chaired the State Bar Presidential Task Force, leading a group of state-wide judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers in their endeavors to keep judicial proceedings moving forward while many – especially urban - jurisdictions were locked down
Last year, Culpepper was named the “2021 Texas Prosecutor of the Year” by the State Bar of Texas and TDCAA. That same year, she received a State Bar of Texas Presidential Resolution honoring her exceptional service to the legal profession and her community. She received the State Bar “Standing Ovation Award in 2017, and, in 2013, she was one of two statewide lawyers to receive the prestigious “Certificate of Merit” which is awarded by the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and past presidents to recognize a Texas lawyer’s outstanding contributions to the legal profession. In recent years, she has also been honored as the recipient of the 2016 Soroptimist International Ruby Award, the 2017 Rockwall Police Department Chief’s Merit Award, the 2018 “Living Legend Award” from the “HELP Foundation” in Dallas, and the 2019 National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Law Enforcement Commendation Medal.
In 2001, Ms. Culpepper was selected to be a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Class where she was one of the founders of “The Freedom Run”. After the September 11th tragedy, members of this class founded The Freedom Run to benefit the American Red Cross and bring together the citizens of Dallas to show their support for the nation. The Freedom Run became the largest first year 5K running event in the history of Dallas and continues in its 20th year, benefiting the Dallas Police Department's Assist an Officer Foundation which aids police officers who are injured or killed in the line of duty. Ms. Culpepper was a co-chair of that event for several years.
Locally, Culpepper has served on the Board of Directors for the Rockwall ISD Education Foundation, the Rockwall County Bar Association, the Rockwall Noon Rotary Club and Rockwall MusicFest; and she is a Life Founding Fellow and former Trustee of the DAYL Foundation. Ms. Culpepper is a member of the local Chambers of Commerce, the Rockwall Women’s League, the National Charity League, the Rockwall County Historical Foundation, the Rock Wall Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Rockwall County Friends of the Library.
Ms. Culpepper has been named by Texas Monthly as a “Texas Super Lawyer”; by D Magazine as one of the "Best Lawyers in Dallas; and by Forbes SkyRadio as one of “America’s Most Influential Women”. In 2022, she was named by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research’s City Journal as one of “The Five Best Prosecutors in America”.
In addition to prosecuting felony and misdemeanor complaints, Our Office handles the prosecution of juvenile offenders, representing CPS / APS in matters before the court, acting as Civil Attorney for the County, finalizing the process for obtaining protective orders, mental health commitments, and advising law enforcement.
Our Office structure consists of the following:
Criminal District Attorney
Financial/White Collar Division
Family Violence Division