CLEVELAND - Pinkey Carr has been an assistant criminal prosecuting attorney under Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason since 2002. Before that, she spent nine years as Cleveland's law director for former Mayor Michael White.
Carr was named after her paternal grandmother, but she said people still don't believe it's her real name.
"Someone in the legal profession told me that I should give thought to changing my name because they just didn't think I would be taken seriously," Carr said.
"When I'm in the office, yes, I'm smiling. But when I'm in trial, my colleagues will tell me ‘You have your trial face on.' I mean it's personal for me. You would think the victim of that crime is my loved one," Carr said.
During her career as an assistant prosecutor, she has worked on several high-profile cases, including the prosecution of Antun Lewis, who was found guilty of arson. The fire on East 87th Street in Cleveland killed eight children and one woman during a sleepover in 2005. Lewis has not been sentenced.
Carr was also involved in Johanna Orozco's trial. Orozco's ex-boyfriend eventually pleaded guilty to rape and attempted murder, after shooting the teen in the face. Since the incident, Orozco has been outspoken about dating violence and even told her story on Oprah.
Carr is a Cleveland native and graduate of Cleveland Marshall College of Law, who has been assigned to the major trial unit for the past seven years. Her workload consists solely of rape and murder cases.
"Actually it's not something that I chose; it was something that was offered to me. An opportunity of a lifetime, I believe. Because I'm dealing with families and victims that are in situations that are unbearable for most people," Carr said.
But that experience plays to her advantage, as she prepares for the start of the Anthony Sowell trial.
"I mean, we have 11 victims. Not just murder victims, but we also have rape victims. So again, it's our job as prosecutors to make sure that Anthony Sowell, who is charged with these crimes, is found guilty," Carr said.