Angel M. Woodruff Biography
Angel M. Woodruff, the second in command at the prosecutor's office, began working as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Cape Girardeau County on January 1, 1998. She was promoted to the position of First Assistant in 2003. Born in Cape Girardeau and raised in Jackson, Missouri, she attended Jackson Public Schools and graduated in 1990. She earned an undergraduate degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, followed by a law degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia. In her last semester of college, Angel served as a legislative intern for State Representative Joe Maxwell. While in law school she worked in the school’s Domestic Violence Clinic helping indigent women and children and in the summer clerked for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
Following graduation from law school, Angel worked in the Criminal Division of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for a short time before accepting a position with the Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where she could work in her chosen field of prosecution and return to the area where she grew up. At the prosecutor’s office, Angel has handled a wide variety of cases. Her current caseload consists mostly of drug crimes, violent crimes, domestic violence cases and sex offenses.
Angel has served as a Special Prosecutor for several Missouri counties and has guest-lectured at Southeast Missouri State University. She co-authoried an article about prosecuting and defending domestic violence cases, which was published in the Journal of the Missouri Bar.
"Angel is thorough and well-prepared when she goes to court," Morley Swingle says. "She is not only my most experienced prosecutor, but probably has the most compassion and empathy of any of our prosecutors. A crime victim is lucky if she is assigned to the case."
"This is a rewarding but very difficult job," Angel says. "When I first started out, I had some grand idea of making a difference, every single day. Of course, life isn't always like that. After years of being a prosecutor, I have discovered that things are not always black and white and we don't always make a difference, but we do the best we can. Not all defendants are beyond hope and not all victims are paragons of virtue. It is the gray area in between where most of our cases arise. Ultimately, we try to help people. That's why I keep coming to work every day, because very often we succeed."