Born in Lynchburg, Virginia; daughter of the late James W. and Jeanette G. Stroud, retired Educators; married to John Henry Conover, Jr.; six children Leila Jeanette Burns, India Veronica Burns, Cierra Conover, Rashaun Conover, Antoine Conover, John Conover, and nine grandchildren.
Cassandra was educated in the Lynchburg Public Schools, and graduated from the Univ. of Virginia in 1982 with a B.A. in Political Science. She graduated from N.C.C.U. School of Law in 1985 with a Juris Doctor degree. Honors in Law school included Law Review and National Dean's List. She also has earned her Masters in Business Administration with honors, from Regis University, Denver, Colorado in 2006.
After several months of solo practice, Cassandra joined the staff of Tidewater Legal Aid Society in January 1987. With one other attorney, she handled an average caseload of 100 indigent persons in Chesapeake, with focus areas being domestic violence, Social Security, and the litigation in Federal court.
In August 1989, Cassandra continued her career in Petersburg as an Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney, prosecuting felony preliminary hearings, traffic and misdemeanor matters weekly. In 1990, she went into private practice with Atty. Bland, and later, became an Assistant Public Defender. During that time, she defended over 300 persons with both violent and nonviolent charges. On May 15, 1991, Cassandra was appointed Commonwealth's Attorney to fill the unexpired term of the now retired Judge James Hume. She has since become the senior ranking female Commonwealth's Attorney in the state. In May, 1997, she became board certified in the area of Criminal Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. She is one of three attorneys in the Commonwealth to be board certified in criminal law. She is also the senior ranking black female District Attorney in the United States
As Commonwealth's Attorney, Cassandra manages an office of six attorneys with a support staff of eight, including one paralegal and one investigator. She has been lead counsel in several capital murder cases, as well as in thousands of other cases or violent crimes.
In 1991, Cassandra founded B.E.D. (Babies Exposed to Drugs) Task Force to address the issue of an increase in the birth of addicted newborns. She was responsible for the drafting of the new felony child endangerment law in 1993 that is used by prosecutors statewide. She serves as advisor to the police, magistrates and is part of the Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force for drug-related crimes. In 2006, Cassandra created and implemented “Operation Diamond” a city wide strategy to bring together the City, law enforcement, Churches and schools to polish the City.
Cassandra serves, and has served on many boards, including Va. Assoc. of Commonwealth's Attorneys; Va. State Bar Council Rep.; Southside Virginia Legal Services Corp.; Legal Services Corp. of VA; United Way, and Mary Carter Beacon House Board. Her many affiliations include Natl. Black Prosecutors Assoc.; Natl. District Attorneys Association; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Order of the Eastern Star; President of Kiwanis, Int’l. Petersburg Luncheon Chapter; President, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School PTSA; Girl Scout Troop Leader for Zion Baptist Church Senior and Ambassador Troops.
Programs created and/or implemented through Operation Diamond include, but are not limited to: Adopt-A-School; Diamond Sports League; Peterburg Inter-cultural Celebrations; G.R.E.A.T (Gand Resistance Education and Training); and Junior Achievement in elementary and high schools.
Cassandra has also partnered with CW Richmond television network to produce television commercials. These commercials are part of Operation Diamond, and are used two fold: (1) to give publicity to local organizations; and, (2) to focus on problem issues that the public needs to be aware of.
Her many honors include Who's Who in American Law.
The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney is committed to providing the City of Petersburg with high quality prosecution of criminal offenses. The Commonwealth’s Attorney is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the city. Every prosecution will be handled with the sense of fairness, giving consideration to the law, the facts of the case, and the opinions of the victims. We will discharge our duty as law enforcement officers for the benefit of our community. We will strive to maintain open, positive relations and communications with the Police and Sheriff’s Department, the Judges, as well as City Government
Cheryl J. Wilson - Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney
T. Leslie Lindsey - Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
Kenneth A. Blalock - Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
Melissa V. Brennan- Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney