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Governor appoints SLO prosecutor to local judgeship

San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Craig Van Rooyen outside the San Luis Obispo Superior Courthouse in 2011.
San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Craig Van Rooyen outside the San Luis Obispo Superior Courthouse in 2011. Joe Johnston

Craig Van Rooyen, a San Luis Obispo County prosecutor who has prosecuted several high-profile cases since joining the county District Attorney’s Office in 2007, was appointed to a local judgeship by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.

Van Rooyen, 49, fills one of three vacant judgeships at San Luis Obispo Superior Court, but court staff on Tuesday did not yet have details on his start date.

Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office as a deputy district attorney, Van Rooyen was a partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP and also served as a deputy district attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for four years.

He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law and a bachelor of arts degree from Andrews University. He is a Democrat.

In his time in San Luis Obispo, Van Rooyen successfully prosecuted several notable cases, including the murder trial of Los Angeles gang member Armando Yepez for the 2011 drive-by shooting of Gabriel Salgado in Oceano.

The jury in a three-week manslaughter trial prosecuted by Van Rooyen last month returned not guilty verdicts for two former Salinas prison guards in the death of North County vineyard manager Alvaro Medrano.

Compensation for this position is $189,041 annually, according to the Office of the Governor.

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