Chief Public Defender
Jason was born and raised here in the Texas Panhandle. He was a third generation graduate of West Texas A&M University. After college, Jason taught for 15 years, coaching multiple sports during that time. He received a Master’s Degree from the University of Houston in Spanish. Jason attended South Texas College of Law in graduating in 2012 and passing the bar that same year. Jason practiced criminal defense and personal injury. He joined the Galveston County Criminal DA’s Office. In 2015, Jason and his family moved back to the panhandle where he worked for the 47th DA’s Office as a felony trial attorney. While at the DA’s office, he served as a mentor to young attorneys, started a veterans treatment program, and started a mental health treatment program. Jason accepted the role of Chief Public Defender for the Potter & Armstrong County Public Defender in 2022 in order to continue serving our citizens in a different capacity. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, sports, and all things fishing and outdoors.
Assistant Public Defender
Nicole graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Spanish minor, and she was the highest ranking graduate in her class. She also attended Texas Tech for her law degree and served as a student attorney in the school’s Capital Punishment Clinic. After becoming licensed in January 2020, Nicole moved to Houston where she practiced criminal defense at a firm before joining the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. She worked for Harris County in the bail division for 2 years before joining the Potter and Armstrong County Public Defender. She most enjoys working with mentally ill clients.
Assistant Public Defender
Alton Estrada grew up in Houston, Texas and attended Hardin-Simmons University and South Texas College of Law. He has practiced criminal law for the past 21 years serving as an assistant district attorney for fourteen years and a criminal defense attorney for seven. He has tried over 140 jury trials to completion and represented hundreds of clients over the years. In his spare time, Alton enjoys cheering on his children on soccer pitches.
Assistant Public Defender
Lakeshia was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle where she learned the value of small towns and supporting your community. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from Wayland Baptist University and earned her law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law HBCU. Shortly after graduating she began her career in the legal field. She is passionate about being an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, being crafty, and cooking.
Mental Health Liaison
Kai Vrede was born at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. As a member of a military family Kai lived in multiple places, including Stuttgart, Germany. In December of 1994 Kai relocated to Amarillo, TX, this was another military move for the family. In 2003 Kai decided to join the U.S. Army. He became an enlisted member of the army engineer branch. While attending the U.S. Construction Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, he was recognized as an honor graduate for the class. He also completed the Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and earned his airborne jump wings.
Kai served at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Carson, Colorado. In both cases with an airborne unit on jump status. He was also deployed three times overseas. Twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. In 2011 Kai left military service and received an honorable discharge. After his discharge he returned to Amarillo, a place he calls home. Upon his return he enrolled in Amarillo College which led to his eventual graduation from West Texas A&M University (2017). He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.
As Kai began to pursue his career, he started by working with at risk youth. He quickly discovered his passion for the mental health field in under-served populations. He would later go on to earn his certification as a Qualified Mental Health Professional. He achieved this accomplishment while serving in the Panhandle region as a Mobile Crisis Outreach Team member for two years.
Kai lives in Amarillo and enjoys spending time with his family, working out, outdoor activities, and traveling.
Amy was born and raised in Amarillo. She is an experienced professional who brings over seven years of legal and administrative experience to her role as Support Staff. She earned her Legal Studies degree from Amarillo College in 2016. She was a paralegal for a private practice attorney and worked at the 47th District Attorney’s Office as a secretary for the 251st and 181st District Courts. She is committed to support her fellow legal advocates in assisting underprivileged groups by providing effective and holistic representation. Her desire to support our Mission of advocating for the indigent community of Potter and Armstrong Counties is what led her to the Public Defender’s Office.
Positions will be posted when openings are available.