ELKHART — Two Elkhart County judges announced Friday, Jan. 10, they are planning to run for re-election this year.
Superior Court 1 Judge Evan S. Roberts and Superior Court 5 Judge Charles C. Wicks announced Friday they will seek re-election this year in the Republican primary.
Roberts was appointed in 2005 and was elected to a full term in 2008.
Prior to his appointment, Roberts served on active duty with the Marine Corps. After completing active service, Roberts worked in private practice at a law firm in Nappanee, Bremen and Mishawaka. He also served as a part-time deputy prosecuting attorney with the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office.
In 2011, Roberts was named the state of Indiana’s outstanding judge by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and in 2012 he was commended by the Indiana Supreme Court for the “extensive and thoughtful” analysis involving complex civil litigation.
Currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, Roberts has served for 26 years. He is an instructor at the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island.
“I am blessed with the privilege, honor and responsibility of serving the citizens of Elkhart County and look forward to the opportunity to continue as Judge of Elkhart Superior Court 1,” he said in a statement.
Wicks has served since 2009. He previously practiced law for 34 years and served as a part-time deputy prosecuting attorney for 30 years. He served from 2001 to 2007 as chairman of the Elkhart County Republican Party.
Wicks is a graduate of Tulane University and Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington. In 2012, he graduated from Indiana Judicial College. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and received the Air Force Commendation Medal in 1974.
As judge of Superior Court 5, Wicks established a plea bargain deadline policy, which has resulted in the ability to try criminal cases in a matter of a few weeks rather than months, according to a press release.
Superior Court 5 handles more than 1,000 criminal cases a year and has a small claims docket of more than 3,500 cases a year.
Wicks serves as president of the Elkhart County Community Corrections Advisory Board, which oversees the Work Release Center and Community Corrections programs — two alternative programs to prison.
He also helped reorganize the teen court program through Bashor Children’s Home, and in 2009 received Bashor Home’s “Volunteer of the Year” award.
Earlier this week two judges — Superior Court 3 Judge George Biddlecome and Superior Court 4 Judge Olga Stickel — announced they would not seek re-election this year.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Francisco will seek the Republican nomination for judge of Superior Court 3, while Goshen City Court Judge Gretchen Lund will seek the Republican nomination for judge of Superior Court 4.