Governor William Donald Schaefer appointed the Honorable William D. Missouri to the Circuit Court for Prince George's County on December 21, 1987. Governor Robert L. Ehrlich reappointed him on November 21, 2003 after serving his initial 15-year elected term. He was reelected for a second term on November 2, 2004. He has served as county administrative judge since October 1992 and was appointed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell to the position of administrative judge for the 7th Judicial Circuit (Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's and Prince George's Counties) on May 1, 1997. Prior to his appointment to the circuit court, Judge Missouri served as an associate and administrative judge of the 5th District Court for Prince George's County. At the time of his appointment to the 5th District Court in June, 1985, he was a member of the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office felony trial staff. In that capacity, he tried many serious felonies such as arson, robbery with a dangerous weapon and murder, including death penalty cases. He is presently admitted to practice before the following courts: Court of Appeals of Maryland; U.S. District Court for Maryland; U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the District of Columbia; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. Tax Court; U.S. Court of Military Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Missouri was born in Washington, DC. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Dalzell, SC and Washington, DC. He also served in the United States Air Force. He attended Prince George's Community College from 1971-1973, received a BS and graduated cum laude from Bowie State University in 1975, and received a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1978. He is married to Delores Bell-Missouri, with whom he has three children; Danielle, Naomi and Natalie. He also has two children, Marcellina and Shawn, from a previous marriage. The Missouri family lives in Mitchellville, Maryland.
Presently, Judge Missouri serves as the chair of the Maryland Conference of Circuit Judges, and is a member of the Judicial Cabinet and Council; chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges (NCSTJ); president of the Maryland Bar Foundation; and chair of the Judiciary's Legislative Committee. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA); J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association; Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA); and the Prince George's County Bar Association. Moreover, he is a fellow of the Prince George's County Law Foundation; the American Bar Foundation; and a former member of the Maryland State Bar Association's Board of Governors.
Previously, Judge Missouri chaired the NCSTJ's Criminal Justice Committee and was a member of the ABA's Justice Kennedy Commission. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Prince George's County Bar Association from 1982 through 1985; as president of the Marlborough Chapter of the American Inns of Court from 1990-1992, and as chair of the Bowie State University Board of Visitors from January 1995 to November 2004. In 2006, he chaired the Bowie State University Presidential Search Committee. He also is a member of the 1999 Class of Leadership Washington. Furthermore, he served as a member of the Special Joint Committee on Gender Bias in the Courts from 1986-1988. Moreover, he was a member of the Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure from 2000-2005. Additionally, he served on the MSBA's sub-committee on Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions.
Judge Missouri serves and has served on numerous ministries and committees in his church and community including the Parish Council, where he served as chair for six years. Also, he served on the Board of Directors for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), having served as chairman in 1996. Additionally, he is a past chairman of the Patuxent District National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, as well as the Northlake Homeowners Association Covenants Committee. In 2005-2006, Judge Missouri chaired the Prince George's County Compensation and Charter Review Commission. In addition to serving on numerous other community and legal committees, he is a former instructor at Prince George's Community College.
Judge Missouri has received many awards and citations including the Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Medal from his Holiness Pope John Paul, II. He was recognized as one of the Fifty Outstanding Prince George's Community College Students over the past five decades.
Judge Missouri is a 33° Mason and Shriner. He is also a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus.