Platte County Prosecutor
Elected Officeholder: Eric Zahnd
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd was originally elected in 2002. He is now the longest-serving prosecutor in Platte County history. He also has the longest tenure of any elected prosecutor currently serving the Kansas City metro. Zahnd’s team of eleven attorneys and nine staff members are responsible for handling thousands of cases each year, ranging from traffic offenses to first degree murder.
Zahnd's top priorities are protecting children, prosecuting sex offenders, and cracking down on career criminals. Under Zahnd and the Sheriff‘s leadership, Platte County’s Cyber Crimes Unit became one of the first in Missouri to hunt down and prosecute Internet predators.
In 2006, Zahnd successfully pushed the Missouri legislature to pass Jessica’s Law to put child rapists in prison for life and enact tough mandatory sentences for Internet predators. In 2012, Mr. Zahnd wrote a Missouri constitutional amendment to allow juries to know about prior criminal acts of repeat child sex offenders, and he chaired the successful effort to pass that amendment in 2014. In 2005 and again in 2010, he helped write laws to increase penalties against repeat drunk drivers. And in 2009, he wrote the law requiring police to record interrogations of people suspected of committing dangerous felonies.
Mr. Zahnd has personally convicted dozens of criminals in Platte County for murder, rape, robbery, and assault. The Kansas City Star says Zahnd’s office has brandished a protect-the-citizens-first attitude that local lawbreakers have grown to fear. The Platte County Landmark calls him an aggressive prosecutor who passionately presents an extremely impressive case to a jury.
Mr. Zahnd was recognized as Missouri’s Prosecutor of the Year in 2014 for his efforts to establish best practices for Missouri prosecutors. He is one of only two Missouri prosecutors selected in the inaugural class of “Super Lawyers,” an honor given to the top attorneys in Missouri and Kansas. He was also named one of Ingram’s magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2004, recognizing him as one of the most influential business, government, and community leaders in Kansas City.
Mr. Zahnd is a past President of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association, where he serves as a member of the Legislative Committee.
Prior to his election, Zahnd was a business litigator with one of the nation’s largest law firms. He has also worked in the Missouri Attorney General’s office and served as a staff assistant to the Governor’s Commission on Crime.
Zahnd graduated with honors from William Jewell College and Duke Law School.