Judge R. Ferrell Cothran, Jr. was born in Manning, South Carolina, in 1952, to the late Ralph F. Cothran and Ruth Davidson Dubose Cothran.
He grew up in Manning and completed high school in 1970. He attended the University of South Carolina from 1970-1974 receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Law from 1974 – 1977 where he received his Juris Doctor Degree. After his completion of the Bar examination in 1977, he began working with his father in his practice of law, Cothran, Chandler & Cothran. In the early 80’s, it became the firm of Cothran & Cothran. His practice consisted of Real Estate, Family, Civil and Criminal matters. He became County Attorney in 1979 and served as County Attorney until September of 2006. In 1983, he was appointed by Wade S. Kolb, Jr., Solicitor of the Third Circuit as the Assistant Solicitor for Clarendon County and was the prosecuting attorney until September of 2006.
He was elected on February 15, 2006 as Circuit Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit to fill the unexpired seat of Thomas W. Cooper, Jr. (retired) and began his term on October 1, 2006.
He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church at Manning where he serves as Sunday School Teacher and Elder. He has also served as Clerk of the Session.
He enjoys hunting, fishing, and cooking!
He married Deborah Jean Brakefield on April 12, 1985. He has two sons Scott Ferrell Cothran who is an engineer with Michelin, and Michael Bailey Cothran who is a student, and one step-son Marion Epps Dubose, IV who is a landscaper.