Allen Telgenhof, Prosecuting Attorney
Kerry Zahner, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Mary Farrell, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Peter O'Connell, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

prosecutors (2)

Allen Telgenhof, Prosecuting Attorney
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Allen was elected prosecuting attorney in November of 2012 and took office on January 1, 2013. Since that time he has personally handled the majority of the felony prosecutions in Charlevoix County, successfully trying cases involving homicide, criminal sexual conduct, major assaultive crimes, arson, felony drug delivery and malicious destruction of property.  

Prior to his election, Allen spent 23 years in private practice, focusing on litigation, both civil and criminall.

Allen received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Michigan State University in 1987. He graduated with honors from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1989, where he was recognized on the Dean's List seven times, received two American Jurisprudence Awards and was an associate on the law review.

He served on the Charlevoix Board of Education for eight years, six as president, on the Charlevoix Schools Foundation, on the City of Charlevoix Planning Commission and the Charlevoix Schools District Steering Committee.

Allen has been the varsity baseball coach at Boyne Falls Public Schools since 2017. He has coached baseball for over 20 years, including 12 as Charlevoix High School varsity baseball coach, leaving as the winningest baseball coach in school history. 

He also has served as an adjunct professor at North Central Michigan College, and as a trained mediator and arbitrator, mediating local disputes with Northern Community Mediation and hearing and deciding cases for the New York Stock Exchange and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Before moving to Charlevoix in 1994, Allen was very involved in his hometown community of Clio, serving three years on the school board and serving as president and co-founder of the Clio Area Educational Foundation (now known as the Clio Area Education Fund). He was recognized in 1999 as the Clio Area High School Alumnus of the Year.

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Kerry Zahner, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Kerry was appointed Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in September 2018. She rejoined the prosecuting attorney's office in April 2017, having worked there previously as an assistant prosecuting attorney from 1999 to 2004. She also prosecuted domestic violence cases in Charlevoix County (as well as other counties) as a Special Assistant Attorney General and Special Prosecuting Attorney from 2008 to 2013. She also served as attorney magistrate for the 90th District Court.

A graduate of The Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio and Michigan State University (with honors), Kerry also is a graduate of Charlevoix High School.

Kerry prosecutes a variety of matters in the prosecuting attorney's office, but her particular area of expertise is in the prosecution of intimate partner violence cases, going back to her time as a Special Assistant Attorney General and Special Prosecuting Attorney.

In her spare time, Kerry enjoys spending time with her family, watching her children's activities, being outdoors and camping.

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Mary Farrell, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Mary joined the Prosecuting Attorney's Office in October 2019. Previously she was a Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Muskegon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office where she was responsible for a criminal docket consisting of approximately 700 felony cases per year. She tried multiple felony cases including capital offenses.

She is primarily responsible for felony special victim crimes including criminal sexual conduct, felony intimate partner violence including strangulation and child abuse. She has practice criminal defense both in her own practice and with the Muskegon County Public Defender's Office and was a legal advocate for the Center for Women in Transition in Grand Haven.

Mary graduated from Charlevoix High School, Aquinas College and the University of Detroit School of Law.

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Peter O'Connell, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Peter returned to prosecution in 2019 after serving 45 years as a judge, sixteen as a district court judge and from 1994 to 2019 on the Michigan Court of Appeals. Prior to taking the bench, he was chief assistant prosecuting attorney for Isabella County. In Charlevoix, Peter primarily handles the misdemeanor district court docket.

He holds a juris doctorate from Detroit College of Law and was the first trial judge in Michigan to obtain a Masters of Judicial Studies degree from the University of Nevada-Reno. He has taught and presented for the Michigan Judicial Institute, the Institute of Continuing Legal Educaiton, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, the National Judicial College, New Judge's School, Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Central Michigan University.

Peter has authored articles in the Detroit Law Review, Criminal Practice Law Review, Colleague, Benchmark, Michigan Bar Journal and the case book entitled Social Science in the Law.

In his spare time, Peter enjoys skiing, golf, boating and racquetball.

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