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MEET DENOTRA

Experience, Service and Commitment to Fayette County

Denotra Gunther was born at Fort Gordon, Georgia into a military family and was raised in Augusta, Georgia.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism – Public Relations and Advertising from the University of South Carolina and worked in Administration at Paine College before accepting a position in the Intern Program as a Management Analyst for the Department of Defense.

After relocating to Lexington, Kentucky, Denotra pursued her life-long dream to attend law school, graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1996 and gaining admission to the Kentucky Bar in October of that same year.

Denotra began her legal career as Staff Attorney for the Hon. Gary Payne, the first African-American judge in Fayette County managing the Court’s motion hour dockets, researching legal issues, and opinions, orders, and jury instructions. She then went on to work as an Assistant Fayette County Attorney under Margaret Kannensohn as the Juvenile Division prosecutor where she litigated status and public offenses, reviewed criminal complaints for probable cause, assessed cases for treatment as Youthful Offender, and developed and coordinated juvenile policy matters with local, state, and federal agencies. During this time, Denotra co-created the Truancy Intervention Program with the Pupil Personnel Office of the Fayette County Public Schools for which she wrote and received a $95,000 grant from the Department of Justice for Community Prosecution. She also served on the Commission on Guardians ad litem and was a recipient of Friend of Children Award. After several years in the Juvenile Division, Denotra transitioned into General Prosecution were she prosecuted misdemeanor offenses from arraignment through the trial process; as well as felony offenses through the Preliminary Hearing stage. She also served as Special Assistant Attorney General for appeals and was appointed to administer the Kentucky Victim/Witness Protection Program for Fayette County.

In 2004, Denotra chose to go into private practice concentrating her efforts on criminal defense, civil litigation, and domestic relations including dissolution of marriage, custody, timesharing, paternity, and child support. She also serves on the Fayette Family Court Attorney Panel appointed to represent both children as a Guardian ad litem as well as representing indigent biological parents and guardians that are subject to cases involving Dependency, Neglect and Abuse, Termination of Parental Rights, as well as Adoptions. Given her vast experience, she was vetted and appointed by Governor Andy Beshear to fill a vacancy on the Fayette District Court in December of 2021.

Denotra has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics for the last 21 years and also has taught Criminal Trial Process at the J. David Rosenberg College of Law.

Denotra is the mother to one adult son.

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