MARTINEZ -- Gov. Schwarzenegger has appointed a longtime deputy public defender to the Contra Costa County Superior Court bench.

Christopher Bowen, 42, of Richmond was named as the newest judge late Monday.

Bowen joined the Contra Costa County Public Defender's Office in 1994 and worked on numerous high-profile homicide and sexual assault cases during his tenure. Most recently, he has been representing juvenile clients.

Bowen is a graduate of Santa Clara University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He is the second person from the Public Defender's Office to become a judge in recent years, following Judge Barbara Hinton's appointment in 2008.