Presiding Pima County Superior Court Judge Sally Simmons has chosen Deputy Pima County Attorney Casey McGinley as the new pro tem judge.

McGinley, 35, was interviewed Friday along with defense attorneys Maria Davila and Jeff Rogers for the position, which was left vacant when Judge Jose Robles resigned unexpectedly. Judge Simmons announced her decision this morning.

McGinley joined the PCAO in August 2003 and is currently prosecuting murder suspect Louie Machado.

McGinley is also assigned to the Pamela Phillips murder case. Now that McGinley is moving up in the world and Bill McCollum has retired, the case has been reassigned to Rick Unklesbay, who retired a couple of years ago, but still keeps a small caseload. It's unclear if Phillips' April trial date is still realistic, given the sheer volume of evidence disclosed in the case.

Judge Robles' caseload has been handled over the past several weeks by retired Judge Michael Cruikshank.

In her news release, Judge Simmons said the following:

“Mr. McGinley will be a great addition to our bench.  His depth of experience in state court criminal law proceedings will allow him to make immediate contributions to our court.  I also was amazed by the overwhelming support he had from both prosecutors and defense attorneys and from other citizens,” said Simmons.

 Judge Simmons also said the decision was difficult because all three finalists for the position, McGinley, Davila and Rogers, were so outstanding. 

 “This was a situation in which the court could not lose,” she said.

 Judge McGinley will start his new job in early February.