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story.lead_photo.caption In this March 2017 file photo, Shaun Mackelprang is interviewed by a state commission in Jefferson City for a judicial position. Photo by News Tribune

A Holts Summit deputy attorney general was among three finalists named in the search to fill a vacancy on the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals.

The finalists were announced Wednesday after interviews with candidates occurred this week in Jefferson City. The vacancy exists due to the retirement of Judge Thomas Newton in July.

Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Wilson, who also is chairman of the Appellate Judicial Commission, announced the nominees after nearly five hours of interviews, three hours of deliberation and nine rounds of balloting.

The nominees are: Shaun Mackelprang, a deputy attorney general who lives in Holts Summit; Jalilah Otto, a Jackson County Circuit judge; and Janet Sutton, a Clay County Circuit judge.

The names were sent to Gov. Mike Parson, who has 60 days to select one member of the panel to fill the vacancy. Should he fail to do so, the Missouri Constitution directs the commission to make the appointment.

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