KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Hector Sanchez, a University of Tennessee College of Law alumnus and former assistant district attorney, has been appointed as the 6th judicial district criminal court judge by Governor Bill Lee.

Sanchez takes the bench as Tennessee’s first Hispanic trial court judge and is slated to serve at least until the August 2024 general election.

Lee announced two judicial appointments on Sept. 28. Sanchez’s appointment comes after Judge Kyle Hixson was appointed to the federal Court of Criminal Appeals – Eastern Section earlier this year.

“I am proud to announce the appointment of these two highly qualified individuals and value the significant experience they will bring to their respective roles,” said Lee. “I appreciate their leadership and am confident they will serve Tennesseans with integrity.”

Sanchez was sworn in on Sunday.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee tweeted about Sanchez on Sunday, saying, “It’s official. Judge Hector Sanchez is sworn in as a Knox County Criminal Court Judge. Judge Sanchez is qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, humble, and is the state’s 1st Hispanic trial court judge. He will serve well.”

According to Tennessee State Courts, the 6th judicial district criminal court judge manages a docket with over 1,000 criminal cases each year; overseeing all stages of criminal cases, from initial arraignments to plea hearings to jury trials to post-conviction relief.