Magistrate, former DeKalb prosecutor retires

January 15, 2019

A veteran federal magistrate retired Dec. 31.

State and federal jurists recognized U.S. Magistrate Paul R. Cherry in a special session Friday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne. He retired after more than 15 years on the bench.

The retirement was announced Monday by Clerk Robert Trgovich.

″(He) is the consummate professional,” Chief Judge Theresa L. Springmann said in a statement. “His knowledge of the law, unequaled work ethic and exceptional judicial demeanor made him a tremendous asset to the bench and bar of the Northern District of Indiana. His contributions to the court will be greatly missed.”

Cherry earned a bachelor’s degree from Huntington University in 1973 and graduated from Ohio Northern University School of Law in 1977. He completed a National Judicial College course in 1994 through the University of Nevada and is a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College, according to a news release.

He began his legal career in private practice in 1978 and started working two years later as a deputy prosecutor in DeKalb County.

Cherry was elected DeKalb County prosecutor in 1982. He was prosecutor in 1988, when the body of 8-year-old April Tinsley of Fort Wayne was found in a ditch in DeKalb County.

The notorious case remained unsolved until July, when John D. Miller, 49, was arrested and confessed to the crime. He was sentenced in Allen Superior Court last month to 80 years in prison.

“Cherry had a stellar career in the Indiana courts, where he served as the elected DeKalb County prosecutor for six years and as an elected DeKalb County Circuit Court judge for 15 years,” the news release states.

He also was an adjunct faculty member at Huntington University, Valparaiso University School of Law and Calumet College of St. Joseph.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua P. Kolar will replace Cherry as magistrate and will be based in Hammond.


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