The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:08 pm

Sentencing date moved up in April Tinsley murder case

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

An Allen County judge has changed the sentencing date for John D. Miller, the man who admitted last week to killing and sexually assaulting 8-year-old April Tinsley in 1988. 

Judge John Surbeck will retire Dec. 31, and he said today he moved the sentencing to Dec. 21 to ensure there would be no delays. 

Miller, 59, pleaded guilty Friday to murder and child molesting in April's death. The girl was abducted from her neighborhood on Fort Wayne's south side on April 1, 1988, and her body was found three days later in a ditch in south DeKalb County. 

The case captured local and national attention for decades. 

"This case needs to get done," Surbeck said. 

A plea agreement calls for an 80-year sentence for Miller, but April's mother reiterated Tuesday calls for her daughter's killer to be executed. 

Janet Tinsley said she disagreed with Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards' move to accept a plea agreement in the case.

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