Spencer Merriweather learned from his parents
about the importance of showing his values through service.
Spencer’s parents came of age in the Civil Rights Movement in Mobile, Alabama, overcoming obstacles to become public school educators and serve their community in ways that made a substantial impact. Because of their sacrifice and example, he knew he could grow up to be anything he wanted to be, but they encouraged him to seek a career rooted in honesty and service. With that guidance, Spencer has spent his career working on behalf of those who needed a prosecutor they could trust. He has served as Mecklenburg County District Attorney since November.
He served as a Felony Trial Attorney in Mecklenburg County for more than a decade. He previously led the District Attorney’s Office's Habitual Felon Prosecution Team and has prosecuted a variety of crimes ranging from homicide, robbery and sexual assault.
Spencer has looked into the eyes of a mother who lost her child to gun violence and delivered on his promise to bring the assailant to justice. He stood alongside countless women as they transitioned from being victims of sexual assault to being empowered survivors, who faced their attackers at trial. He stood up for domestic violence victims and their children when it was not safe for them to stand up for themselves.
Spencer has been a voice for frustrated neighbors, who have seen community safety repeatedly disrupted by the same offenders, who break into their cars, homes and businesses. He has worked in drug treatment courts with counselors and defense attorneys to propose treatment solutions for those who live with addiction. He is committed to finding innovative solutions to reduce drug addiction in our communities. To that end, he coordinated with local and federal law enforcement to bring to justice the drug traffickers who prey on those struggling on their road to recovery.
He trained and led prosecutors in drawing distinctions between hardened offenders, who need to be sent to prison, and those in our community who have simply lost their way and need a hand up—and a way out.
Additionally, Spencer has worked to engage the community in ways that instill faith and confidence in the criminal justice system. Spencer helped implement a community liaison program, which sends prosecutors into the community to educate citizens about the work of the DA's Office. He has helped direct the office's hiring committee and been a champion for increasing recruitment of attorneys from underrepresented communities.
Spencer earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where he served as undergraduate Student Body President and on the University Board of Trustees for four years following graduation in 2000. Between college and law school, Spencer worked on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer for Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). He served as the first director of her Commission on Black Men and Boys.
A Sense of Community and Family
Spencer has long been an active member of the Mecklenburg County Bar and is a former Chair of its Criminal Justice Section. He is the Incoming President of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation Board. He also serves as a Board Member for Safe Alliance, a local non-profit agency dedicated to serving survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. For the past five years, Spencer has been actively engaged in Charlotte's Community Building Initiative, which promotes equity and inclusion among public and private community stakeholders. He is an active member of the National Association of Black Prosecutors.
He worships at St. Peter's Catholic Church in uptown Charlotte, where he is an active member and teaches Confirmation classes to 8th and 9th graders.
Spencer is married to Lila, whom he met while he was a law student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Lila, who currently works with the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, also served as an Assistant District Attorney in Mecklenburg County for more than 6 years. Spencer and she share a commitment to equal justice and applying prosecutorial discretion in a balanced and equitable manner.