Mason County Public Defender Staff
Eugene Austin graduated from BYU Law School in 1991 and also holds a Masters in Business Administration. After graduating from law school, he clerked for the District court of Idaho and then moved to private practice in Utah representing clients in State, Federal, and Tribal Courts. Mr. Austin also served as an Attorney Guardian ad Litem for the State of Utah. After Mr. Austin moved to Washington, he worked for Boeing on government and international contracts. In 2012 Mr. Austin returned to private practice handling Appellate, Business/ Commercial, Contracts, Corporate, Criminal, Estate Planning/ Probate/ Wills, General, and Intellectual Property cases. Mr. Austin is licensed to practice law in Utah, Colorado, and Washington. Mr. Austin began working full time as a Deputy Public Defender for Mason County in 2020, representing clients charged with misdemeanors in the District Court and handling appellate cases.
Kristen L. Bishopp
Kristen L. Bishopp is a cum laude graduate of Seattle University Law School, who just celebrated 20 years as a practicing attorney in May, 2023. She has been representing youth clients since 2010 and has represented youth in Mason County since 2016. In October, 2022, Ms. Bishopp joined the Mason County Public Defenders. As a Deputy Public Defender she represents youth in Dependencies, ARY/CHINS, Truancies, and Juvenile Criminal matters.
Rose Boughton graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2020. Throughout law school, she worked at Disability Rights Washington, helping people with disabilities navigate jails and prisons. After graduation, she started working in Mason County, originally representing people in Shelton Municipal Court. She currently serves as a Deputy Public Defender in the Mason County District Court, representing people charged with misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors.
Julie Hansen began working for the Mason County Public Defender’s Office in 2020 as a legal assistant. She graduated with academic honors from South Puget Sound Community College in 2020 with an AAS in Paralegal Studies. She currently serves as the Administrative Assistant.
Maggie Huston graduated in 2015 from Olympic College with an AAS in Paralegal Studies. She came to our office in 2022 with 3 years of public defense experience and a deeply rooted passion for serving under-represented people with compassion and understanding. Maggie is our legal assistant and she is the first person you will see when you stop by our office.
In her free time, Maggie enjoys gardening and spending time outdoors with her husband and two dogs.
A cum laude graduate of the University of Idaho Law School, Peter Jones first began practicing law as a deputy prosecutor in Elmore County, Idaho. He was a private attorney in Eastern Washington from 2006-2013, focusing on criminal defense and civil litigation. Jones was named a Deputy Public Defender in Mason County in 2014. He is currently the Chief Public Defender who represents clients in the Mason County Drug Court and ITA Court.
Ron Sergi graduated from Willamette University in 1989. In 2018, the Washington Defender Association presented him with the President’s Award in recognition of his generosity and commitment to the highest standards of defense of the indigent accused. Sergi currently serves as a Deputy Public Defender in the Mason County Superior Court Division representing clients who are charged with felonies. He is also the Deputy Public Defender who represents clients in the Mason County Mental Health Court and Veterans Court.
Due to abundant caseloads in Mason County, the Public Defender also uses private attorneys on contract to fill the needs of accused indigent persons. The current contract attorneys for both Superior Court and District Court are Taschner & Associates, PLLC, 360-868-6558, firstname.lastname@example.org.