Cheri Lindsey’s murderer eligible for parole for 4th time

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 1:28 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- A convicted murderer and rapist will have a fourth chance of parole.

James Wales, who was sentenced on rape and murder charges for the 1984 death of 12-year-old Cheri Lindsey is eligible for parole again. He was previously denied parole in 2017, 2019 and 2021. His fourth parole hearing occurred last week.

Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak said the parole board has yet to notify his office of a final decision on the case. Korchak said he struggled to see how the board could have a hard time making a decision due to the gruesome nature of Wales’ crime.

“I guess the troubling part from the prosecution standpoint would be what’s the decision?” said Korchak. “This guy brutally murdered a 12-year-old and should never see the light of day.”

Korchak said during past parole hearings, the community response is something that had helped keep Wales incarcerated in the past.

On Feb. 28, the father of Cheri, David Lindsey died at the age of 81. Mr. Lindsey became an advocate for the rights of victims of violent crimes after the death of Cheri, who died while working her paper route on Sturges Street. He also spent time helping the community’s underprivileged.

Mr. Lindsey also served as a Binghamton Police Officer and Broome County Legislator.

In an April 2022 Around the Tiers interview, Mr. Lindsey said naming Cheri A. Lindsey Memorial Park after his daughter was the greatest way to preserve her legacy in the Binghamton community.

Korchak said the community would be angry if Wales was out of prison on parole. He also said he has not seen any rehabilitation in Wales during his time in prison.

“[Wales] has never really shown remorse,” Korchak said. “He keeps making excuses that he had some anger issues and things of that nature.”

Korchak said he has been reaching out to the parole board on a daily basis for updates on the case and expects to know the decision at least in the coming weeks.