Attorney Brian K. Burns of Union has been appointed to replace Christopher Collins as Circuit Judge in Neshoba County and the Eighth Judicial District, Gov. Phil Bryant announced late Monday.

He replaces Collins, who is leaving public service after serving 21 consecutive years as a judge. Burns’ appointment is effective on Jan. 2 and will end Dec. 31, 2020. There will be a special election in November 2020 to fill the unexpired term through 2022.

Burns, 39, is a lifelong resident of the Eighth Circuit Court District. He is the younger son of Bob and Beth Burns, both retired, from U.S. Motors and Neshoba General Hospital, respectively.

After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Mississippi State University, he went on to receive his Master of Science, with an emphasis on invasive species. In 2008, he was accepted into the Mississippi College School of Law where he graduated in 2011 with honors.

“Brian’s experience in the District Attorney’s Office will serve the people of the Eighth District well,” Gov. Bryant said. “I am pleased that he will continue to serve the people with his acceptance of this appointment.”

"I am both humbled and honored to accept Governor Bryant’s appointment as Circuit Court Judge in the Eighth Judicial District. I will work tirelessly to promote judicial efficiency and maintain both fairness and accessibility for all citizens of Newton, Leake, Scott, and Neshoba Counties. "

Burns was an Assistant District Attorney in the Eighth Circuit Court District. He resides with his wife Robyn Watts Burns in Union. They attend First Baptist Church of Union.