Wicomico Prosecutor Appointed Fed Immigration Judge

Wicomico Prosecutor Appointed Fed Immigration Judge
William McDermott

NOW HILL — Former Worcester County prosecutor and Wicomico County Deputy State’s Attorney William “Billy” McDermott has been appointed as a federal immigration judge by the U.S. Attorney General.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has appointed McDermott, 35, a resident of Girdletree, as a federal immigration judge assigned to the New York City Court effective March 28. McDermott, a Worcester County native who graduated from Snow Hill High School, served as deputy state’s attorney under former Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby.

When Oglesby was appointed to the Worcester County Circuit Court bench in January 2018, McDermott, his top prosecutor, was appointed Ad Interim State’s Attorney for Worcester County. He announced he was running for the office full-time, but lost a narrow election to current Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser later in 2018.

McDermott was immediately picked up by the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he has served as lead prosecutor ever since before his appointment as a federal immigration judge this week. As deputy state’s attorney for Wicomico County, McDermott has prosecuted many important cases over the last few years, including the Jamel Gould homicide trial, the Brendon Fields homicide trial, the Jonathan Megee homicide trial, the Barbara Pilchard animal abuse trial and the Salisbury University hate crime graffiti case, for example.

Outside the courtroom, McDermott has assisted in the creation of the new Prosecution Integrity Unit. He has also testified in Annapolis on several pieces of important public safety-related legislation and led the first annual Wicomico County State’s Attorney Summer Camp for youth. W

“We are incredibly excited and proud of Billy’s appointment,” said Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes. “This may by the opportunity of a lifetime for him and his family, and we know that our country will be well-served by those qualities that will make him an excellent judge.”

For his part, McDermott is excited about the opportunity.

“This is a bittersweet time for me,” he said. “I am deeply saddened to be leaving such an incredible office with so many talented public servants under the extraordinary leadership of Jamie Dykes. This office has become like a home, and the people who work here are family.”

McDermott was raised in Worcester County and graduated from Snow Hill High School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors as a criminal justice major from Long Island University and went on to graduate with a Juris Doctorate with a certificate in law and public policy from Catholic University’s School of Law.

McDermott said with Dykes at the helm and the talented people around her, the transition will be a smooth one for the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, but emotionally challenging for him.

“I’m excited to serve in this new capacity, but my last day here may well be one of the hardest of my life,” he said. “The people of Wicomico County should know how blessed they are to have such an amazing team in the Office of the State’s Attorney. Their work always goes on.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.