Fresno · Local

Fresno Co. Deputy DA appointed as Superior Court judge

Fresno County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ryan Wells will be donning the black judge’s robes. 

The District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that Wells has been appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to serve as a judge on the Fresno County Superior Court. 

Wells leaves the District Attorney’s Office after eight years, in which he successfully prosecuted a variety of cases including domestic violence and gang crimes.

His most recent work was with the Homicide Unit. 

“I am extremely proud of Ryan and his ascension to the bench,” said District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp in a statement. “As a prosecutor, Ryan has proven himself to be a dedicated public servant with a keen sense of justice. Although it will be a tremendous loss to our office, the citizens of Fresno County are very fortunate to have Ryan Wells as their newest Superior Court Judge. 

Wells earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford, where he also played receiver and kick returner for the football team. He left Stanford as the all-time leading kickoff return specialist in program history. 

Following his time at Stanford, Wells earned his law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at