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Judge Knights



          Hon. Judge Stephen N. Knights, Jr. is a second-generation Judge, following in his father’s footsteps. Judge Knights attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, where he majored in Criminology with a minor in Psychology. While at John Jay, he was a member of the Firearms Training Society and an Auxiliary Police Officer with the New York City Police Department.

          In 2005, Judge Knights received his law degree from Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. While in law school, he interned with the Innocence Project. He reviewed cold cases (old and closed files) to see whether newly-discovered DNA evidence could exculpate incarcerated individuals. Later, he interned with the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office in Ann Arbor, MI. There, he represented and assisted clients who faced misdemeanor and felony charges.

          Furthermore, while in Law School, Judge Knights was the Publications Chair for the Federalist Society. He was active in Moot Court and Mock Trial competitions and represented his school nationwide in Competitions. He was the Chairman of the Moot Court Board. And Vice-Magister for Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity. He was a Senior Research Editor for the Law Journal. Knights was the Features Editor for the school newspaper, The Pillar, and “The Docket,” a monthly Legal magazine. Knights was the Winner of the First-Year Moot Court Competition, Best Advocate of Intra-School Mock Trial Competition, and the Intra-School Alternative Dispute Resolution Competition winner. He received the Distinguished Student Award and other notable awards. Additionally, Knights gave the valedictory speech at his law school graduation in May 2005.

          In 2006, he became an Assistant Solicitor General with the Clayton County Solicitor General’s Office in Georgia. There he prosecuted all misdemeanor offenses ranging from traffic offenses to Driving under the Influence and Battery-Family Violence (Domestic Violence) cases. He also received the Professional Image Award while at that office. That award was given to Knights because he represented the office professionally, diligently, and capable. 

          In 2007, Knights became an Assistant District Attorney with the Griffin Judicial Circuit in Georgia. He specialized in prosecuting drug offenses and had cases in Spalding, Pike, Upson, and Fayette Counties. He had numerous jury trials, ranging from ounces to kilograms of drugs, including; cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. His duties also included arguing Motions to Suppress, Preliminary Hearings, Bond Hearings, and Juvenile Court proceedings.

          In 2009, Knights became a Senior Litigation Assistant District Attorney with the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia. He prosecuted all felony criminal cases, including murders, armed robberies, rapes, and child molestations. In addition, he handled appeals to the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. He completed eight successful appeals. Most notably, he successfully presented a case in front of the seven justices of the Georgia Supreme Court. The case involved an issue of the inconsistent verdict rule in a murder conviction. The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the conviction in the case of Guajardo v. State, 290 Ga. 172 (2011).

          In 2012, he joined his wife, Keysha Knights’ law firm, The Knights Law Group, LLC. He specialized in criminal defense and personal injury litigation, including dog bites, car accidents, and federal litigation. Also, in 2012, Knights was sworn in as a Magistrate Court Judge in the Clayton County Magistrate Court in Georgia. In that role, Knights presided over first appearances, bond hearings, preliminary hearings, and civil matters, including bench trials and dispossessory hearings, and issued search and arrest warrants. 

          Knights later was a Senior Trial Staff Attorney with Liberty Mutual. He handled car accidents, dog bite cases, and commercial and premises liability cases. Knights is licensed in Georgia, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.

          In 2020, Judge Knights was appointed as a Magistrate Court Judge in Henry County. He sat by designation in State Court and Superior Court. Since December 2020, he exclusively handled all of the Family Violence Protective Orders and Stalking Protective Order hearings. He also reviewed ex-parte petitions daily by designation as Superior Court Judge for all the citizens of Henry County.

          On September 26, 2022, the Honorable Judge Knights was appointed by Governor Kemp as a State Court Judge in Henry County. He will continue to serve the citizens by being fair and impartial and following the law. 

          It is noted that Judge Knights is also a scholar. Judge Knights (also referred to as Dr. Knights in the academic world) taught courses in Law, Legal Studies, Sociology, Business Law, Criminal Justice, Legal Ethics, and Employment Law on the undergraduate and graduate levels at various colleges and universities such as Strayer University, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and DeVry University. 

          Dr. Knights earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice in 2021. His dissertation is titled “Ethical decision-making framework in police officers’ use of the force continuum.” Portions of this scholarly work are published. 

          When he is not working, Judge Stephen N. Knights, Jr. spends time with his wife and four children. He enjoys playing chess, reading, and research.

           The Honorable Stephen N. Knights, Jr. is grateful and honored to serve the citizens of Henry County as your Henry County State Court Judge.

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