National Association of Attorneys General
Steven Troy Marshall, 52, was the Marshall County district attorney since 2001. He was elected without opposition in 2004, 2010 and 2016. On Feb. 10, 2017, Governor Robert Bentley appointed Steve to be the 50th attorney general of Alabama. For Steve, helping others has always been his top priority. As attorney general, Steve will stand up for the most vulnerable members of our society and protect the rule of law for all Alabamians.
Steve was born Oct. 26, 1964, in Atmore, Ala., the only child of the late Conrad and Mary Jo Marshall. Conrad Marshall was a representative for a sporting goods manufacturer and Mary Jo Marshall was a secretary.
Steve’s father’s job caused the family to move quite a bit during Steve’s childhood. When he was 3-years-old, Steve moved with his family to Mobile, where they stayed until the end of his first grade year. From there, they lived in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Despite leaving Alabama in first grade and living in several Southern states, Steve knew the Yellowhammer State was his home. He always knew he’d move back.
It was during these formative years that Steve’s mother instilled in him the desire to help others. She reinforced that his family had been blessed and that giving back to others was the appropriate way to express gratitude for it. Later, he saw that being district attorney was an even greater opportunity to live that message as an example for others.
Education and honors
Steve graduated with academic honors from Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, N.C. in 1983. He began his political career, as it were, when he was elected President of the PHS student body. After high school, Steve attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with academic honors in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in American studies, which blended several of the courses he enjoyed most – history, English and political science. Steve paid his way through college through scholarships and working as a resident assistant, waiter and other “odd jobs.”
While at UNC, Steve won the Robert B. House Distinguished Service Award, which is awarded by the Chancellor. The award, established in 1980 by the Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, in honor of UNC’s first chancellor, is presented to the undergraduate who best exemplifies the spirit of unselfish commitment through service to the university and the surrounding communities. To date, Steve is the awards only two-time recipient.
He also was chairman of the Big Buddy Program, which at the time was the largest student-led mentoring program in the country. Big Buddy, an affiliate of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, pairs UNC students with six to 14-year-old at-risk children in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities for one-on-one mentor relationships. Mentoring would play a role throughout Steve’s life.
Also while at UNC, Steve was a member of the Order of the Old Well, an honorary organization founded in 1949 by students and faculty to honor students for exemplary and otherwise unrecognized service to the university.
After graduating from UNC, Steve attended The University of Alabama School of Law, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class. Just as he did at UNC, Steve funded law school through scholarships and work. He was a Hugo L. Black Scholar and research assistant to Professor Pamela Pierson.
He wanted to be an attorney because he enjoyed the intellectual challenge of the law, and it would give him the opportunity to solve real problems in people’s lives. He also enjoyed the competitive nature of litigation. In 1990, he was published, writing about the Federal Racketeering Statute in an article entitled An Overview of RICO, Bucy & Marshall, 41 Ala. Law. 283 (1990), reprinted in part, in corporate and white-collar crime: an Anthology (Leonard Orland, ed. 1995).
Steve was a member of the Alabama Law Review and was selected to the Order of the Coif, an honor society for U.S. law school graduates who graduate in the top 10 percent of his or her class.
After graduating law school, Steve joined Maynard Cooper and Gale P.C., (Birmingham and Montgomery offices) where he practiced until 1995. In 1995, wanting to open a small town practice, he moved to Guntersville, Alabama and formed McLaughlin & Marshall. Steve also served as a district representative for Alabama and Georgia to the American Bar Association and he was a member of the Alabama Young Lawyers Executive Committee.
While practicing in Marshall County, Steve also served as a legal analyst for the Alabama House of Representatives for several legislative sessions. During that time he was the prosecutor for the Arab, Alabama and Albertville, Alabama municipal courts and served as municipal attorney for Arab.
Marshall County District Attorney
In August 2001, Steve was appointed to serve the remainder of the retiring Ronald Thompson’s term as district attorney of Marshall County (27th Judicial District). When he was sworn in at age 36, Marshall became the second youngest district attorney in Alabama. He has since been re-elected unopposed in 2004, 2010 and 2016.
He said at the time that, in addition to trying cases, he also would concentrate on helping victims. “You can’t just focus on prosecuting people,” Steve told a local reporter. “If you do, you won’t be able to help victims.”
As district attorney, Steve has not been just an “administrator.” He has tried cases ranging from DUIs to murder cases. As district attorney, Steve has prosecuted police officers and attorneys for ethics violations. He’s also prosecuted cop killers and those who prey on children, as well as numerous violent crimes. He founded the Marshall County Major Crimes Unit and the Marshall County Computer Forensics Lab. He also created the Marshall County Crystal Meth Task Force, made up of community leaders to brainstorm and help combat crystal meth.
Steve was instrumental in legislation that required a driver’s license for Alabama residents to purchase ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products, the main ingredient for making crystal meth. The legislation also created a database for such purchases, put the products “behind the counter,” and led to a 90-percent reduction in the number of crystal meth labs in the state over the past 5 years.
Steve also played a major role in the Brody Act, which holds criminals who kill or injure a mother’s unborn baby accountable for two crimes – one against the mother and one against the baby. The act was named for Brody Parker, the unborn son of Brandi Parker of Marshall County, who was 8 months pregnant when she was murdered while sitting in her vehicle. Steve was one of the first district attorneys to apply the law when he prosecuted a Marshall County man for the murder of his wife, who was pregnant with their child. The man was convicted and sentenced to death.
The Marshall County District Attorney’s Office also has been recognized by Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs as a model domestic violence prosecution program. Steve is strongly supportive of domestic violence programs, including the Marshall County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and he strongly supported passage of Kelley’s Law, which makes it a capital crime to murder someone who has a protective order against the offender. The law is named for a Marshall County resident who was murdered in a domestic violence incident.
Steve has also served as chairman of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information System (ACJIC). ACJIC in responsible for gathering and providing information for law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The agency operates a state-of-the-art data center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week providing many information systems through the state criminal justice network (CJnet) and the Internet. ACJIC is connected nationally to the FBI's National Crime Information Center, as well as to all 50 states via the National Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (Nlets).
Steve is a member of the Alabama Sentencing Commission, created by the Alabama Legislature in 2000. It is made up of judges, prosecutors, victim advocates, law enforcement, the state prison commissioner and others. The Commission was created to examine sentences and policies and make changes to secure public safety, promote truth in sentencing, prevent prison overcrowding and other goals.
Additionally, Steve has served as special prosecutor in several counties where the district attorneys had to recuse. Those cases included prosecuting attorneys, securities fraud, murder-for-hire and other high-profile cases. He also was chosen to represent U.S. prosecutors at hearings for Sept. 11 terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Steve also serves on the National District Attorneys’ Association Board of Directors representing Alabama’s district attorneys.
In his role as district attorney, Steve has taken his experience has taught at state, national and international conferences to law enforcement and prosecutors on a myriad of topics.
Steve’s life has been one of service. In addition to serving his community, county, state and nation in his professional life, he has also served in his private life. From 2009 until 2014 he was the campaign chairman for the United Way of Marshall County, helping to raise more than $4 million for United Way agencies.
Steve is the founder of Mentor Marshall, which, like the Big Buddy program from his college days, served young people in Marshall County with a mentoring program. In his words, “It all began with the hopes of investing in the future of Marshall County, a future which lies in the hands of our children.” Mentor Marshall was designed to involve positive, successful adults in the lives of at-risk children as mentors and role models. The goal – to keep these children drug-free and in school, while giving them hope and the tools they need to achieve their dreams.
In addition to founding the program, Steve has mentored two young men himself, one for two years and one for the last eight years.
He also served as board member for the Kids to Love Foundation, which helps foster children in North Alabama, and he served on the boards of the Marshall County ARC and the Albertville City Schools Foundation.
Steve also was part of a mission trip to India a few years ago, sharing the gospel with people of remote villages. “The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) sort of directs us all in some way to be able to make that outreach to those that don’t know Christ, to be able to share,” Steve said of the mission. In 2016, Steve participated in an extended Bible study trip, visiting the Middle East, including Israel.
In a guest column for The Arab Tribune, Steve said of the trip:
“Bethlehem serves a constant reminder of why Jesus’ birth and ministry were to heal a broken world and to offer hope to the hopeless. Christmas, for me, now is much more of a reminder of how much my broken self is not saved by lights, gifts or gatherings. Rather, I am saved by a perfect God who arrived in a desolate place to provide me opportunity to be reconciled with the Creator. For that, I am blessed.”
Honors and Memberships
Steve has been recognized as a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation, which honors the top one percent of attorneys in Alabama.
He’s a past president and current executive member of the Alabama District Attorneys’ Association and has been a member of the Alabama State Bar since 1990 and a member of the Marshall County Bar Association since 1995.
He’s been a member of the National District Attorneys’ Association and its Legislative Committee co-chair since 2014 and a member of the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee for the Northern District of Alabama.
Steve also served on the Criminal Code Committee for the Alabama Law Institute and as a member of the Alabama Sentencing Commission, Alabama Crime Victims Notification Task Force, Alabama Criminal Justice Information Commission, Alabama State Bar Young Lawyer’s Executive Committee (Past chair and current member) and American Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Section (Alabama State Bar representative).
Family and personal
Steve is married to the former Bridgette Gentry. They have one daughter, Faith Marshall, 20, who is a student at Snead State Community College and plans to attend Jacksonville State University.
In his free time, Steve enjoys running, cycling, swimming, triathlons, hiking, kayaking and spending time with his family. Above all, Steve enjoys spending time with the loves of his life, his wife and daughter.
Bridgette is a community volunteer for Shepherd’s Cove Hospice in Marshall County, and Steve is an elder at LifePoint Church in Albertville.