Lake County Courthouse:
[PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]
Some might be surprised to find out that Judicial Assistant Audrey Hatcher almost died once. Two years ago, she plugged in a long extension cord and as soon as she grabbed the cord, her hand locked around it and she was unable to move. Screaming at the top of her lungs to no avail, Hatcher remembers thinking, “Lord I don’t want to die, but I pray everybody knows I love them.”
Fortunately, Hatcher’s son, Brad Jr. (who was only 17 at the time) kept a level head after discovering his mom unconscious and face down in the dirt. He removed the cord, shocking himself in the process and got her much needed help. “My son saved my life,” Hatcher tells Lake Legal News, holding back tears. (She ended up at a Level 1 trauma center, and even after skin grafting she carries a battle scar on her chest from the electrical burn.) Brad Jr. has since decided to become a firefighter. “I think this was a big factor in his decision,” his mom infers. “He has the makings of an incredible fireman.”
Hatcher first became a JA for Judge Larry J. Semento, and after he retired, newly appointed County Judge Jason J. Nimeth asked Hatcher to assist him. She believes the new jurist will have a “positive impact” on the bench. When asked what her favorite and least favorite part of the job is, Hatcher has the same answer. “The people… I like the interaction with the people. I believe as the JA, you are the front of the docket. You either make it easy to approach, or you don’t,” Hatcher explains to LLN . “I am the sounding board.”
Prior to becoming a JA, Hatcher worked for the state attorney’s office for five years as a legal assistant, but before that, had never worked in the legal field. Rather, she worked at a private school as an administrative assistant and even tried her hand at teaching second grade.
The baby of nine children, Hatcher married her high school sweetheart, Brad, and together they had four children in four years—their current ages being 21, 20, 19 and 17; they remain a very close family. “They’re grown, but they still take up a lot of time,” Hatcher adds with a smirk. Meanwhile she and Brad get to relax by going on the occasional gator hunt!
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. In addition, she has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]