BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – An effort is underway to keep one of Binghamton’s most notorious killers behind bars.
Broome County District Attorney Mike Korchak held a news conference today to let the public know how they can voice their concerns about James Wales.
Wales was convicted of the rape and murder of 12 year-old Cheri Ann Lindsey in 1984 when the girl was out collecting for her paper route.
He was sentenced to 33⅓ years to life in prison and has his 4th parole board hearing coming up in March.
Korchak says that when his parole hearings come up every 2 years, the DA’s office sends a letter arguing that Wales should spend the rest of his life in prison.
“At his parole hearing, Mr. Wales stated that he had a problem with stress, that he holds in his stress and then explodes into a violent rage. That’s what he said to parole. So, that would be a very good indication of his tendency toward violence and not being able to control his emotions which unfortunately is exactly what happened in that case.”
Cheri’s parents Dave and Jean were unable to join Korchak today, but 4 years ago they spoke with NewsChannel 34 when they were mounting a grassroots opposition to Wales’ release.
Wales was already a convicted sex offender when he killed Cheri.
4 years ago, Dave Lindsey had this to say about his possible release.
“We think about it all the time. He’s coming up for parole. What do we have to do? Can we get the support of the people? But, I can say it’s the people that are really keeping him in jail just by their signatures and comments. They don’t want him on the streets. Who wants that guy living next to you? Who wants that guy out here? Not a soul.”
Wales is now 74.
Some criminal justice reform activists have called on the state to start paroling more older inmates due to their age and an assumption that they no longer pose a threat to society.
Korchak says he’s concerned that as Wales ages, the parole board may have a similar viewpoint.
He says the public can contact the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision by
Or writing to: Guidance Unit, Wende Correctional Facility, 3040 Wende Road, Alden, NY 14004
Wales’ DIN is 84C1060.