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Last updated: Fri. Feb. 15, 2013 - 09:02 am EDT

Judge Sims to relinquish court gavel in the spring

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Longtime Allen Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Sims will be retiring at the end of April.

Sims, who is in his late 60s, has served as judge in the family relations division of Superior Court since 1997, handling juvenile cases at the Allen County Juvenile Justice Center.

He has a long history of service in the Allen County criminal justice system, serving as county prosecutor from 1983 to 1994 and then as a hearing officer and magistrate judge for Allen Circuit Court from 1995 to 1996.

Sims graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and has his law degree from Indiana University at what is now the Maurer School of Law.

Sims has also served on various boards at local, state, and national organizations throughout his public service career, including most recently those dealing with children involved in delinquency and family matters, according to a written statement from the Allen Superior Court.

In 2002, The Journal Gazette named Sims one of its Citizens of the Year, partly for his work at overhauling what was then Wood Youth Center. In April 2001, Sims and his other colleagues on the Superior Court bench ordered Allen County to build a new juvenile center.

In 1989, as prosecutor, Sims obtained a murder conviction in the case of Kenneth Johnston, though no body had been found.

In 1991 and 1992, Sims handled the case of slain IPFW professor Maurice Lam – killed by Benjamin Blauvelt, Ko Jin Soh and Kha Nguyen.

As a juvenile court judge, Sims handled the teenage killers in separate cases involving the deaths of two prominent Fort Wayne men – Prince Chapman and Jim Didier.

“I want to expresses my heartfelt appreciation to my family, my colleagues on the bench and at bar, my staff at the Allen County Juvenile Center, and to the community at large, who I’ve been privileged to serve,” Sims said in the written statement.

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