Patrick Wilson announces retirement; won’t seek reelection as DA

Photo courtesy Ellis County District Attorney.
Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson.

ELLIS COUNTY, TEXAS — Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson announced Tuesday night he will not seek reelection as Ellis County and District Attorney at the conclusion of his current term that ends on December 31, 2020. He states he will be retiring from criminal prosecution.

Wilson's statement said:

"More than two years ago, while exercising in a local gym, I saw a familiar face from across the room. I couldn't remember why I knew the woman. She eventually approached me, and she told me her name. I immediately recalled how I knew her: She was the widow of a man who was murdered. My office prosecuted her husband's killer. After our brief exchange, I sat on a bench and caught my breath as I was struck by a powerful epiphany. I felt so much emotion as I realized that I was exhausted from knowing people only because of the terrible things that befall them. That is the nature of my job.

About this time last year, I was sitting at my desk when I felt as if I'd been brutally punched. It was the sorrowful recognition that my entire day had been consumed with cases involving the rape and murder of children. It was almost more than I could bear. I could recount numerous other, similar anecdotes from the past few years. I have spent more than 25 years, and my entire adult life, in the criminal justice field. For more than 21 of these years I have been a prosecutor.

Much has changed in the past quarter century. Society has changed. My profession has changed. I have changed. It is my honor and privilege to serve the State of Texas and the citizens of Ellis County. At the end of my current term I will have been employed by the Ellis County & District Attorney's Office for almost 22 years. I have seen enough of the ugly side of our world. It is time for me to write a new chapter in my life. I will not seek reelection. At the end of my current term in office, on December 31, 2020, I will retire from criminal prosecution.

My family and those friends and colleagues who are closest to me are not surprised by this announcement. I have long been open to them about my desire to explore a new path in life. I am incredibly proud to have dedicated a career to seeking justice for others. But life is too short to spend it all in the darkness. I am excited about stepping into the light and enjoying the beauty of life with my family and friends. Until then, I will continue to lead my dedicated team of attorneys, investigators, and staff, to see that justice is done for our community.

Patrick Wilson

Ellis County & District Attorney"