About Judge Catherine Evans
Catherine Evans is the presiding Judge in the 180th Criminal District Court. Having been originally appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2013, she was elected to a 4-year term in the 2014 general election and is seeking re-election in the November 2018 general election. The 180th Criminal District Court handles felony criminal matters that occur in Harris County, Texas.
In 2016, Presiding Judge Sharon Keller of the Court of Criminal Appeals appointed Judge Evans to serve as the Second Administrative Judicial Region District Judge who is authorized to consider interception applications pursuant to Article 18.20 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (more commonly understood as “wire taps”). Judge Evans also chairs the Fair Defense Act Committee for the Harris County Criminal District Court Judges. In 2017, she was on the Advanced Criminal Law CLE Planning Committee for the Texas State Bar.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Evans had been a trial prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for 12 years where she served in trial courts and specialty divisions such as Child Abuse, Major Fraud and Public Integrity. She sought and successfully obtained the death penalty against five-time killer Raymond Martinez. For two and a half years, Catherine ran the Vehicular Crimes Section and oversaw the charging and prosecution of every vehicular fatality in Harris County. As Chief of Vehicular Crimes, she applied for, received and administered a more than $600,000 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to expand the No Refusal Program – a program that provides search warrants to law enforcement officers to prevent drunk drivers from avoiding the consequences of their choices. Most significantly, she prosecuted the killer of Houston Police Department Officer Kevin Will who was killed on duty by a drunk driver. Catherine handled the case from the crime scene to the jury verdict. Her innovative trial strategy involved using sophisticated crash reconstruction evidence and even bringing the striking vehicle to the courthouse for the jury to view in person. Her work in Vehicular Crimes was recognized by awards from the Houston Police Officers Union, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol.
Over the years, Judge Evans has shared her legal knowledge by teaching or being a guest lecturer for such organizations as the Texas Department of State Health Services – Offender Education Program, South Texas College of Law, Texas District and County Attorney Association, the National District Attorney Association, the Louisiana District Attorney Association, the Houston Police Department, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the Harris County Constable Precinct 5.
She graduated cum laude from The University of Houston Law Center in 2000. Outside of the court house, she volunteers for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as a Vice Chairman with the Speakers Committee. She and her husband, architect James Evans, also volunteer for Rice University as Community Associates for the students in McMurtry College. They are the proud parents of 6th grader Max and 4th grader Zoe.