Deborah Barra has been an assistant state attorney for sixteen years.
In addition to her extensive trial work, Ms. Barra has held various management and leadership positions throughout the duration of her career and over the course of three different administrations. Most recently, State Attorney Ayala appointed her as her Chief Assistant State Attorney. In this position, Ms. Barra is responsible for the supervision of approximately 180 assistant state attorneys, oversees the day to day operations of the office, and continues to prosecute cases.
Prior to becoming Chief Assistant, Ms. Barra served as a trial unit director during the previous administration. As a trial unit director, Ms. Barra supervised approximately 40 employees and prosecuted violent felony cases. Prior to that position, Ms. Barra was also appointed the chief of the sex crimes unit. As chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, she had a trial caseload and also supervised the sex crimes prosecutors in both Orange and Osceola Counties.
In addition to her extensive management experience, Ms. Barra has been the lead attorney in over 150 trials including homicide and sex crimes cases. She also has been an instructor at a local Police Academy for nearly 10 years and was selected to be one of two trainers who travel throughout the state to instruct prosecutors on how to successfully prosecute sex crime cases.
Ms. Barra is a graduate of the University of Florida School of Law, Flagler College and Dr. Phillips High School.
High profile cases where Ms. Barra was part of the prosecution team include Juan Rosario (death penalty case), serial rapist Darryl Patterson (Windermere rapist), serial rapist Joel Pappas (deemed by media as the Eastside Rapist), Scott Bush (Windermere resident who molested his children and led to a perjury charge and conviction against former Windermere police chief Daniel Saylor), Scott Batterson (expressway authority board member who was convicted of bribery) and Aaron George (which resulted in the first life sentence for sex trafficking in Florida).
Kamilah Perry Executive Director/General Counsel
Kamilah Perry graduated with both her Juris Doctor degree and Master of Business Administration degree from Stetson University and Stetson University College of Law in 2002. She began her career as an associate with two top-rated Florida law firms, Carlton Fields, PA and Phelps Dunbar, LLP. In June 2014, she joined Jaimon H. Perry as a partner of the Perry Law Group, LLC and continued representing employers and employees in the areas of labor and employment and commercial litigation in the firm’s Tampa office. For six consecutive years from 2013-2018, Kamilah was named “Super Lawyer” by Florida Super Lawyers Magazine for Employment and Labor Law, an honor given to no more than five percent of all attorneys in the State of Florida annually. She was also named a “Rising Star” by Florida Super Lawyers for five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013, an honor given to no more than 2.5% of Florida lawyers. Kamilah was also listed among the “100 Most influential African-Americans in Tampa Bay,” was as a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal “2008 Business Woman of the Year Award” and a recipient of the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “Up & Comers” honor in 2012. She received the 2008 "Volunteer Leadership of the Year Award” from the Tampa Bay Academy of Hope and the 2005 “President’s Award” from the George Edgecomb Bar Association.
Throughout her career, Kamilah has distinguished herself as a leader, including serving as past president of the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association, a state-wide voluntary bar association with over 400 attorney and judicial members, and past president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association, the largest predominately African-American bar association in the Tampa Bay region. She also serves on the Florida Bar’s Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, and has served on the Board of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, as a member and Chair of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, and was appointed by the Mayor of Tampa to serve as a member of the City’s African-American Advisory Council, serving as Community Development Chairperson for that Council. She is also a founding member of the Tampa Bay Black MBA Association, a member of the Stetson University Lawyers Association Advisory Council, and previously served as a member of the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections African-American Advisory Board, in addition to having leadership roles in many other social and legal organizations.
Kamilah has published several articles in national publications on the topic of labor employment, including as author of the “Employment Law Manual Articles / Florida Requirements, XpertHR” in partnership with LexisNexis. She has also served as the keynote speaker and trainer for a myriad of employment panels, conventions and seminars for purposes of training employers on how to comply with federal and state labor and employment laws.
William Eric Edwards Chief Investigator
Eric Edwards was a graduate of the Criminal Justice Academy of Osceola in 1994. The same year, Mr. Edwards was hired by the City of Ocoee’s Police Department. He served as a patrol officer and later as a member of the Criminal Investigations Division.
In 1997, Mr. Edwards was hired by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Edwards enjoyed patrolling the streets of West Orange County as a Deputy Sheriff and was later selected to serve as a member of the department’s Gang Suppression Unit. During the years to follow, Mr. Edwards served as a member of the ATM Task Force, the Organized Crime Squad, the Homicide Unit, the SWAT Team, and the Investigation Support Squad.
In 2010 Mr. Edwards was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and supervised the Court Service Section’s Training Squad prior to being selected to serve as a member of the Professional Standards Division.
In 2013, Mr. Edwards was hired to serve as the Chief of Investigations for the State Attorney’s Office of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Chief Edwards manages the sixteen (16) sworn law enforcement officers serving State Attorney Ayala and all of the Assistant State Attorneys prosecuting criminal cases.