David McEachran was first elected to the office of Whatcom County Prosecutor in 1975 after having served as a deputy prosecutor for two and one half years. On January 1, 2015, he commenced his eleventh, four year term in office after running unopposed for the position in November of 2014. Prosecutor McEachran is the longest serving elected Prosecutor in the State of Washington completing forty years of service to the citizens of Whatcom County on December 31, 2014.
During his long tenure in office he has tried nearly every type of criminal case including some of particular notoriety. He prosecuted Kenneth Bianchi, the “Hillside Strangler” for two murders in Whatcom County and coordinated his case with prosecutors in California where Bianchi had been involved in multiple homicides of women. Prosecutor McEachran’s pursuit of justice has led him, in some of his most notable cases, to present evidence produced from unique techniques, previously not utilized at trial, that ultimately led to changes in the law. He combined evidence found in numerous crimes to convict a man of murder and established a new avenue for the introduction of evidence in criminal cases. In another case, he offered evidence from an officer trained in human-tracking which led to the conviction of a man for murder and rape. He presented one of the first DNA cases in the United States, completed by the FBI Laboratory, which resulted in the conviction of a man for the rape of an elderly woman in Whatcom County.
Throughout his tenure in office, Prosecutor McEachran, has worked to ensure his deputy prosecutors interact with all law enforcement officers in a collaborative manner in order to facilitate effective, efficient prosecution of criminals, thereby making the community a safer place to live. He believes one of his major accomplishments is the development of a law and justice “team”, which combines his office and all county law enforcement agencies, that works to solve crime and successfully implement criminal justice intervention and prevention initiatives.
In addition to managing a staff of forty-eight, which includes twenty-three attorneys assigned to eight different divisions (Administration, Victim-Witness, District , Juvenile and Superior Court, Civil, Family Support and Appellate), Prosecutor McEachran is and has been active in numerous professional and community service organizations. He is currently a member of the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Executive Board, holds a gubernatorial appointment to the Washington State Forensic Investigations Council that has oversight of the State Toxicology and State Crime Laboratory for which he is chairman, and an active member of the Whatcom County Domestic Violence Commission. He has served as the president of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA) and been a lecturer for both the National District Attorneys Association and WAPA. Additionally, he has held gubernatorial appointments to the Washington State Corrections Standards Board, Jail Commission and Death Investigations Council. His community service includes being a past president and board member of the Whatcom County Boys and Girls Club and past elder of the First Presbyterian Church.
Prosecutor McEachran completed his undergraduate business degree in 1968 at Northern Michigan University and was awarded his law degree in 1971 from the University of Colorado School of Law. He has lived in Bellingham since 1972 with his wife Joan. His family includes two adult sons, their wives and four grandchildren.