Paul A. Holcombe, III was born in Charlottesville, VA on February 2nd in 1969 and raised in Raleigh, NC where he graduated from Millbrook High School. During high school, he participate in both Tar Heel Boys’ State and the Governor’s School of North Carolina. In 1991, he received his B.A. degree with majors in History and Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1994, he received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law at Knoxville where he served on the Tennessee Law Review.
Judge Holcombe began his law career as an Assistant District Attorney General in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Upon returning to North Carolina in 2003, he continued his public service as a prosecutor. He served four years in the District Attorney’s office in Cabarrus County and two years in the District Attorney’s office in Johnston County. In all three offices, his duties included the prosecution of violent crimes, including sexual offenses, drug offenses, property and financial crimes, and traffic offenses including DWI. He was recognized as a Board Certified Specialist in State Criminal Law from 2005 to 2010 and a Certified Juvenile Judge from 2010 through today.
Judge Holcombe was elected as a District Court Judge for Judicial District 11 (Johnston, Harnett, and Lee Counties) in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012, 2016, and 2020. During his tenure on the bench, he has presided over criminal courts (Probable Cause, Misdemeanor, Traffic, and Domestic Violence) and civil courts (Domestic Violence, DSS, DJJ, and Mental Health) on a rotating basis within all three counties that comprise Judicial District 11. He is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, the United States Fourth Circuit Bar, the North Carolina State Bar, and the Johnston County Bar Association. In 2015, Judge Holcombe was appointed by then-Chief Justice Mark Martin to the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice. On January 8, 2021, he was appointed by Chief Justice Paul Newby to serve as the Chief District Court Judge for Johnston, Harnett, and Lee counties.
Judge Holcombe has been married to Deanne M. Holcombe, who works for the Johnston County school system, since 1994. They reside in Clayton with their two children and attend the Church at Clayton Crossings.