Todd M. Williams, 52, is a North Carolina native and lifelong Democrat. Born in Winston-Salem, he attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating in 1992 with a BA in English. Todd then taught English as a Second Language and adult basic skills to textile workers, immigrants, and the homeless. That experience led Todd to pursue a career in social justice through public service law. While attending Northeastern University Law School, Todd was preparing specialize in labor law and serve workers as his clients. An internship in the law firm of a renowned civil rights attorney turned Todd instead toward criminal justice law.

Todd worked for nearly 15 years as a public defender and as a capital defender in Western North Carolina. Todd represented indigent defendants of all ages at every level in our justice system -- from misdemeanors to murder. By 2014, per the NC Innocence Inquiry Commission, five young working-class African American men had been convicted on bad, undisclosed evidence, and had served years in prison for crimes they did not commit. The integrity of the justice system was at an ebb and Todd wanted to restore it. In 2014, a full two years before a wave of reform-minded prosecutors were elected nationwide in 2016, Todd ran against and defeated a 24-year incumbent. Todd also defeated another candidate, and Todd won re-election in 2018.

As DA, Todd has resolved heinous crimes while concurrently working to reverse questionable past convictions including convictions of the young men who were exonerated (see above) and to remove two men from NC’s death row. Todd was instrumental in creating wraparound services for victims through the Child Advocacy Center and the Family Justice Center, and services for offenders including the Justice Resource Center, the Adult Drug, and Juvenile Misdemeanor Diversion Programs, Veterans’ Treatment Court, expungement clinics and amnesty days, all focused on offering pathways for non-violent offenders to achieve employability and recovery without the stigma of a conviction. Todd recommended investigation of the Buncombe County Manager for corruption and called for an end to self-investigation of potential criminal behavior by law enforcement agencies. Currently, Todd is proud to serve as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, and is an active participant in national justice reform projects sponsored by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution, and Fair and Just Prosecution.    

Todd is a NC State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. He offers unparalleled depth of experience as your District Attorney. He lives in Asheville with his family.


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Re-elect Todd Williams as Buncombe County District Attorney - Support Just Prosecutorial Discretion

Just Over The Line is a short documentary film from Adams J Wood, produced for Independent Lens in association with Blue Ridge Public Radio.  The film tells the story of Daniel Noell, who was arrested for drug trafficking in two adjacent Western North Carolina jurisdictions. Through interviews with Noell, his public defender, District Attorney Todd Williams, and a prosecutor involved with the case, Just Over The Line examines the power of elected district attorneys in deciding the fate of individuals and communities.

Unhoused Diversion Today announces a program aimed at addressing the needs of unhoused persons through referral to services offered by community partners outside of the criminal justice system. 2/24/22
A Buncombe County jury found Donte Derell Shine, 30 of Leicester, guilty Thursday on two counts of Attempted 1st Deg Murder and several other felonies.  He will serve an active term of 290 months minimum to 372 months maximum in NC prisons. 3/11/21
William Marler sentenced yesterday to 216-320 months active after being convicted by a jury of First Degree Statutory Sex Offense, and Indecent Liberties with a Minor.  1/7/21
Debt relief driver's restoration 11/16/2021
Partnership with John Jay 7/1/21
ensuring the sustainability of justice reform by addressing racial disparities in victimization 6/10-11
Appointed to IIC 1/1/2021
Pardons of Innocence to Kagonyera, Mills, Isbell, Williams 12/17/20
Claude Henderson 2nd Degree Murder 9/8/20
Swinton released after serving 20+ years for crack rock 8/13/20
Shane Anders convicted Att 1st Degree Murder 165-210 7/22/20
David Martin Beasley Young released after serving more time in prison than the shooter 3/26/20
McCutcheon 2/14/20
Gallion 2/11/20
Robert Andy Smith pled guilty to 2M 12.2.19
Clarence Octetree habitual felon 11.12.19
Rodney Hasty passes 10/12/19
Willie Lee Swinton convicted of two counts of Forcible Rape and will serve 90-168 months in prison 9/19/19
Cameron McElrath sentenced to 20-25 years in the Swannanoa shooting death of victim Robert Stewart 9/17/19
Christopher Hickman convicted of felony assault by strangulation, misdemeanor assault by strangulation, and misdemeanor communicating threats. 8./9/19
Sharod Woods convicted of Second Degree Murder in the 2017 shooting death of Kelby Swinton-Moore 8/5/19
Dixon sentenced to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder 7/16/19
Shamar Powell found guilty and sentenced to >166 months for discharging firearm and seriously injuring two victims.  “Both survived and demanded accountability. They have protected the community from further harm.” 3/26/2019
James M. Norton sentenced to minimum of 45 years in murder of Kessinger 3/18/2019
Christopher M. Gunter- guilty of Statutory Rape and Indecent Liberties will serve 180-276 months in prison after pleading guilty to sex crimes with minors. 3/13/19.
State v. Colton Halford.  Murder/attempted suicide.  Pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder.  276-344 months in the custody of the NC DAC.  3/11/19
More Than 550 People Hit Reset Button at Buncombe's Amnesty Day 2/5/19
Victor Soto, who shot two victims in September of 2015 and was then charged with attempted first degree murder was sentenced to 157-201 months in the custody of the State of North Carolina today.  1/28/19