Former teen columnist working as prosecutor

January 18, 2014

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Time flies and so do little birds, but some return to the nest.

Such was the case with a soft-spoken, studious girl named Megan Wren who wrote a column for the Hood County News called “A Bird’s Eye View” before she left town for college.

Now she’s back, but she’s Megan Chalifoux now, married to a mechanical engineer named Jeff. Instead of watching over children as a lifeguard at the Pecan Plantation clubhouse pool, Chalifoux is safeguarding children in her new role as a tough-on-crime prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office.

When Assistant District Attorney Lori Kaspar left that office after voters elected her County Attorney, DA Rob Christian offered the position to Chalifoux.

“Megan interned in the office for a month or so right out of law school,” Christian said. “I thought she was very intelligent. She also exhibited a strong work ethic, and seemed to get along well with the office staff and the lawyers that we work with.”

Christian said that Chalifoux “did very well at Baylor Law School.” That is perhaps not surprising, since the prestigious law school offered the 2004 Granbury High School graduate a full scholarship.

Chalifoux’s work ethic began early. She was about 13 when her mother drove her to the HCN offices on South Morgan Street to ask Editor Roger Enlow if he would consider letting her write a column reviewing books and video games for young people.

Enlow, she said, conferred with her about her proposal in the newspaper’s conference room.

“He sat down with me and took me very seriously,” said Chalifoux.

She said that her dad, Jim Wren, “still has the first clipping” from her career as a teen columnist. Chalifoux’s mother, Frances, died last year. Her younger brother, also named Jim, lives in Granbury and works at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant.

After graduating from Baylor Law School in 2011, Chalifoux worked for a Fort Worth law firm doing civil litigation. She never thought she would be a prosecutor, she said, but now, well, here she is.

An animal lover, Chalifoux enjoys gardening, cross-stitching and the Japanese art of Bonsai in her off hours. The hobbies help to relieve the stress that comes with the job.

Chalifoux said that her work in the DA’s office is both challenging and rewarding, citing as an example a recent case involving continuous sexual abuse of a child.

“To have (the child) open up to you and to trust you – it felt very special,” she said. “And also to see this little girl do so well after something so horrible has happened to her…”

Enlow said that HCN staffers used to tease Chalifoux good-naturedly about her soft-spokenness.

“You can look at me and tell that I’m a girly girl,” the lawyer acknowledges.

It may be Chalifoux’s gentle nature that makes crime victims – particularly children – open up to her. But that nature belies a strong core.

Under the guidance and encouragement of retired GHS ag teacher Darwin Davis, the assistant DA participated in livestock shows with her lamb and steer.

The steer was saved from slaughter because he was sent to a college. But Chalifoux – like other students – was required to lead her lamb onto a trailer, to meet a farm animal’s fate.

In similar fashion, she has no problem walking into a courtroom to lead a criminal to justice.

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