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Governor appoints Deputy Prosecutor Sorensen to Superior Court Bench
Phil SorensenChief Criminal Deputy Phil Sorensen was appointed to the Superior Court bench in March by Governor Jay Inslee. Sorensen’s robust experience, courtroom reputation and commitment to the community have earned him a well-deserved judicial appointment. He fills a vacancy left by Judge Linda Lee, who was appointed to the Washington State Court of Appeals in January. 

Sorensen’s impressive career in the Prosecutor’s Office began 24 years ago in the Family Support Division, where he worked with child support agencies to establish and enforce child support and protect the best interests of children. He later transitioned to the office’s Criminal Division, where he vigorously prosecuted felony cases. Sorensen’s demonstrated leadership abilities propelled him to a supervisory position as the Drug Unit team chief and then the Robbery and Assault Unit team chief. He was promoted to the position of assistant chief criminal deputy in July 2009, and in April 2012, Prosecutor Lindquist selected Sorensen to be his chief criminal deputy.

“Our community is well served by Governor Inslee’s appointment of Chief Criminal Deputy Phil Sorensen to the Superior Court bench,” said Lindquist. “I’m confident Phil will bring the values of the Prosecutor’s Office – public service, hard work, and professionalism – to his new role as a judge.”

Sorensen’s impeccable reputation in the courtroom has earned him the respect of judges, victims, witnesses and support staff. One of his most significant cases was that of Tacoma Mall shooter Dominick Maldonado, who wounded seven people, held four others hostage and terrorized thousands more on a busy Sunday before Thanksgiving 2005. He was convicted and sentenced to 163 years in prison. Sorensen also prosecuted Dorcus Allen, the getaway driver for Lakewood cop-killer Maurice Clemmons. A jury found Allen guilty as charged, and he received a sentence of 400 years in prison for the executions of the four officers. This past fall, Sorensen and Lindquist tried the case of Tyler Savage, who was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for killing developmentally disabled teenager Kimberly Daily.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with the talented men and women of the Prosecutor’s Office and serve the public for more than 24 years,” said Sorensen. “My role will change, but my commitment to the community will not.”

Involvement in the community is one of the measures of leadership in Prosecutor Lindquist’s office. Sorensen is a member of the Safe Streets steering committee, where he helps provide youth with education and alternatives to gang life. Understanding the importance of early intervention and positive role models, Sorensen formerly served as the president of the North End Boys and Girls Club in Tacoma.

With this appointment, Sorensen joins the distinguished company of three other former deputy prosecutors who have joined the judiciary in the last 18 months.