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Sean Murray named new District Attorney for 6th Judicial District

Gov. Jared Polis says Southwest Colorado has the right man at the helm
Sean Murray will be the next District Attorney for the 6th Judicial District of Colorado. (Courtesy of Hans Christian Hollenbeck)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis appointed Sean Murray as the new district attorney for the 6th Judicial District of Colorado on Thursday.

The appointment comes after Christian Champagne stepped down from the position in February.

Murray has served as the assistant district attorney for the 6th Judicial District since 2022.

Previously, he was an appellate deputy district attorney in the 6th Judicial District from 2020 to 2022. Before that, he served as the deputy district attorney in the 6th Judicial District from 2017 to 2020.

The 6th Judicial District attorney is the chief prosecutor for La Plata, Archuleta and San Juan counties. The position oversees 27 employees and a $3 million budget.

In an interview Thursday, Polis said there were multiple candidates up for the position but he felt Murray’s skill set was best fit to serve Southwest Colorado.

“I felt that Sean Murray is the best candidate to help make Colorado safer and one of my top goals is making Colorado one of the 10 safest states,” Polis said. “We need a strong chief prosecutor in Southwest Colorado, and I’m confident that Sean Murray is the guy to help make the Durango area safer.”

Polis cited Murray’s ability to understand both sides of an argument, management capabilities and his vision for the office. His experience in Southwest Colorado is also a benefit.

“I wasn’t sure what my chances were because Judge Norvell applied. And then the other applicant, Jason Eley, applied. So I was thinking, ‘I’m not sure what my odds are,’” Murray said. “I’m just really delighted to get the appointment and I’m going to give everything I have to make sure that the DA’s office delivers safety and fairness and justice in the 6th Judicial District.”

Murray said fentanyl, domestic violence, crimes involving firearms, sexual assault and addiction are some of the biggest issues affecting Southwest Colorado. This is based on crime trends in recent years, but he says the number of these crimes committed on a yearly basis are down.

“It used to be pretty steady at 4,400 filings a year, and now we’re down to 2,800. So, crime has dropped significantly,” he said.

Murray started serving the 6th Judicial District in 2011 as a public defender before becoming the assistant district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District of Colorado overseeing Montezuma and Dolores counties.

Murray’s vision is to promote a safe community and to pursue excellence in trial and appellate work.

One way he wants to do this is by using the DA’s office’s data dashboard, which is a platform used to look at case trends. He says using this tool enhances the fairness of the justice system.

He also wants the DA’s office to be victim-centered.

“That’s a big one for us as well,” he said. “We’ve had two victim advocates who’ve won the Victim Advocate of the Year award in the state.”

Murray officially took over the position Saturday.


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