Indiana has a new chief public defender.
The Indiana Supreme Court said Thursday it has appointed Stephen Owens as the state's top public defender, replacing Susan K. Carpenter, who retired in May after nearly 30 years in office.
Owens' appointment was effective immediately. The Supreme Court appoints the chief public defender to a four-year term.
The state public defender's office represents indigent prison inmates in challenges to convictions and sentences.
Owens has served in the state public defender's office for more than two decades, most recently as assistant chief deputy of personnel. He has been a deputy state public defender since 1986.