I was born and raised in Coalinga, California, an agricultural and oil town in western Fresno County. My father was the ready-mix dispatcher at Granite Construction, and my mother is an artist and homemaker. I am the youngest of four children.
I graduated from Coalinga High School, West Hills Community College, California State College, Bakersfield, and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
I was hired as a prosecutor at the Kern County District Attorney’s Office 33 years ago in 1984 by District Attorney Edward R. Jagels. I have tried nearly every type of criminal case and appeared in every court in Kern County. I have worked in the following units within the office: Misdemeanors, Juvenile, Narcotics, Major Vendor Narcotics, Delano Regional Court, General Felonies, Civil, Child Abduction, Sex Crimes and Homicides.
I was promoted to Supervising Deputy District Attorney nearly 20 years ago and trained and supervised law clerks and attorneys in the Misdemeanor, Preliminary Hearing, Narcotics, Criminal Calendar, Complaint Desk, and General Felony Units.
Ten years ago I became the Supervisor of the Gang Unit. I lead a team of attorneys who prosecute gang members who commit serious and violent crimes, such as murders, car-jackings, and robberies. I have personally prosecuted some of Kern County’s most notorious gang members in complicated, lengthy, and high profile gang cases:
In 2015, I sent Billy Ray Johnson, known as “The East Side Rapist” to prison for the rest of his life, with no possibility of parole. Johnson sexually assaulted nine women and children after stalking them in their own neighborhoods.
In 2011, I convicted Kerry Hastings, a serial killer and member of the East Side Crips criminal street gang, for a series of murders that occurred over the span of three years. The conviction sent Hastings to prison for three life terms with no possibility of parole.
In 2009, I sent Corey Johnson and two other members of the Country Boy Crips criminal street gang to prison for 300 years to life without the possibility of parole for a deadly crime spree that included a triple murder, where one of the victims was a pregnant woman.
I am a board member and active participant in the Bakersfield Safe Streets Partnership, where I work with clergy and local community leaders to help people turn away from gang activity and build prosperous and constructive lives.
In these and other convictions, I have been on the cutting edge of criminal prosecutions, introducing evidence of state of the art techniques for uncovering DNA results and employing cell phone and social media evidence to secure convictions.
I am married to Richard Zimmer, a civil attorney and former prosecutor, and have two adult children who are twins.
I am a musician and play the violin in the orchestra at Valley Baptist Church and have also played in a blue grass band. I am an adjunct professor in criminal justice and political science at Taft Community College. I am a member at the Westchester Kiwanis, a community service organization. As the mother of two children I have volunteered as a soccer mom, backstage ballet helper, room mother, reading tutor, high school cheerleading mom, basketball mom and high school mock trial coach.