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Senior Assistant District Attorney John S. Hindsman, Jr. Announces Candidacy for Superior Court Judge

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PRESS RELEASE (01-10-2024)


Senior Assistant District Attorney John S. Hindsman, Jr. Announces Candidacy for Superior Court Judge

John S. Hindsman, Jr. is a member of the Army Reserves. Use of his military rank and job titles does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense. 

Hayesville, N.C.— John S. Hindsman, Jr., a Clay County native and Republican, 13 year veteran felony prosecutor and Army Reserve Judge Advocate, is seeking the vacant seat of retiring Senior Resident Superior Court Judge William H. Coward, which covers the five westernmost counties of Macon, Clay, Cherokee, Graham and Swain.

Hindsman began his career in the then 9th Prosecutorial District of NC under District Attorney Sam Currin, prosecuting misdemeanor and felony cases primarily in Vance County. He tried his first murder case, State v. Hight, just a few months after joining the office. As well as being a career prosecutor, Hindsman has served as a reserve judge advocate for 13+ years in a variety of assignments covering Legal Assistance (wills, trusts, landlord/tenant disputes), Law of Armed Conflict, International Operational Law, Domestic Support of Civilian Authorities and Military Justice. His service took him to Ft. Carson, Colorado for 12 months of Active Duty in 2013 where he served as Trial Counsel, the military’s version of a prosecutor, handling numerous disciplinary actions to include sexual assaults, property crimes, a homicide and an international child sexual abuse case. At Courts Martial he secured a conviction in a highly contested forcible rape (US v. Dorris) and served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) in federal court.

Upon completing his tour at Ft. Carson, Hindsman joined the District Attorney’s Office here in Western North Carolina in 2014. “It was my dream job, to come home and serve the people and community that I grew up with.” Hindsman said. When current District Attorney Ashley H. Welch was elected, she kept Hindsman on staff, assigning him to felony prosecutions in Superior Court in Cherokee and Clay Counties. As part of this assignment, Hindsman implemented the first Administrative Case Management System for Superior Court, which has since been adopted in all five western counties. In 2018, Hindsman was reassigned as the Senior Assistant District Attorney for Macon, Clay, Cherokee, Graham and Swain counties tasked with supervising attorneys and staff assigned to Superior Court in those counties as well as handling high profile cases such as sexual assaults, homicides and drug trafficking. He has handled numerous murders and sexual assault cases in all five counties, to include several death penalty eligible.

After Judge Coward’s retirement, Governor Cooper may appoint his replacement who will then be required to seek election during the November 2024 election cycle. Hindsman intends to do both. “I am seeking the appointment from Gov. Cooper and regardless of his decision, will seek election to the position next November.” says Hindsman.

It will be a busy few months for Hindsman, who will continue to perform his prosecutorial duties and serve as a reserve Major, Interim Team Chief, Training & Operations Officer (S3), and nominated Special Victim’s Counsel for Team 5, 87th Legal Operations Detachment in Denver, CO, where he travels each month.

Hindsman is married to his wife of four years, Michelle, who is an interior designer, his parents, Steve and Jane Hindsman, live in Clay County as well. “Without the support of my wife and family none of this would have been or will be possible.”


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