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Superior Court Judge Preckel retires after 25-year career

Judge Allan Preckel

San Diego Superior Court Judge Allan J. Preckel, one of the city's most experienced criminal court judges, is retiring March 8 after 25 years on the bench.

“Judge Allan Preckel quickly became one of the elite criminal trial judges, an integral part of the design for the delivery of criminal justice in this county and a mainstay for our courts for decades,” Presiding Judge David Danielsen said in a statement.

Judge Preckel was appointed to Municipal Court in 1989 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian. A year later, Judge Preckel was elevated to Superior Court, where he has presided over more than 200 felony jury trials, including 30 murder trials.

He has overseen felony cases in North County, served as the criminal supervising judge at the downtown courthouse and, for the past 20 years, been in the court’s East County division.

During his judicial tenure, Judge Preckel has presided over six death penalty jury trials, including the first capital death penalty trial in East County, a trial that included dual juries.

He brought a long background in criminal law to the bench, having served 17 years as San Diego County deputy district attorney from 1972-1989.

“It has been a singular privilege and honor to serve the public as a judge these past 25 years," Judge Preckel said in announcing his retirement. "Special thanks to Justice Richard Huffman and the late District Attorney Ed Miller for nurturing me as a prosecutor and facilitating my judicial career.

"Forty-three years in the courtroom, doing felony trial work, has been challenging and personally rewarding. The human drama of the courtroom is great theater, and I am gratified to have been a player on that stage.”

Described as professional with a strong knowledge of the law, Judge Preckel also has participated in court management, having served several terms on the Judges’ Executive Committee, offering guidance to court staff.

A longtime resident of San Diego County, Judge Preckel graduated from St. Augustine High School and holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Santa Clara and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

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