H-SANTA MARIA

Apr 30, 2010 11:37 PM by Ariel Wesler

Hundreds pay respects to former Santa Barbara County DA

Friends and Family gathered this morning at the Pacific Christian Center in Santa Maria to remember former Santa Barbara County District Attorney Christie Stanley.

Stanley died Sunday after a long battle with lung cancer. The disease forced her to step down in January. As district attorney, she oversaw several high-profile prosecutions.

Officers from nearly every law enforcement agency in Santa Barbara County turned out to pay their respects to former District Attorney Christie Stanley.

Born in San Fernando, California, she moved to Santa Barbara County and graduated from Lompoc high. She put herself through law school and graduated Magna Cum Laude, all while raising her two daughters. Friends and Family say stanley showed a relentless effort to be successful.

"She brought that to every case. She brought that to every project. She brought that to every endeavour she was involved in," said Eric Hanson, a retired county prosecutor

After 25 years as a prosecutor, she ran for district attorney and she won by a landslide in 2006, taking nearly 70 percent of the vote but the woman who prosecuted hundreds of murderers, gang members, and rapists also had a softer side.

"She truly was grace and dignity personified," Hanson said.

"She could go two, three years without wearing a repeat ensemble," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

Even as the cancer took its tole, friends say she found the courage to perseveare with an incredible smile and a positive outlook.

"Having the guts to power through pain, to put herself together and to show up for an important event when anyone else wouldn't have," Brown said.

"She is with god now, making the world a better place through the rule of law," said Gary Stanley, Christie's husband.

Both DA candidates in the upcoming election, Joshua Lynn and Joyce Dudley, have cancelled their debates out of respect, saying they were too close to Stanley's memorial.

Sheriff Bill Brown presented Stanley's husband with a folded flag. She is also survived by her mother, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

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