Indianapolis prosecutor resigning amid cancer treatments


FILE – In this Aug. 22, 2017, file photo, Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry speaks during a news conference in Indianapolis. Curry, the prosecutor for Indiana’s largest county, is resigning for health reasons after more than nine years in the position. Curry’s office says he’ll discuss his decision during a Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 news conference. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The top prosecutor for Indiana’s largest county announced Monday he’s resigning as he undergoes prostate cancer treatments, ending a nearly nine-year tenure during which he has overseen several major criminal cases along with advocating for a state hate crimes law and tougher gun regulations.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said during a news conference that he started receiving new treatment in Indianapolis within the past month for the cancer first diagnosed in 2015, after withdrawing from a clinical trial a few months ago at the Johns Hopkins cancer center in Baltimore.

“I am still upbeat about my treatment and my health going forward, but where I am with that treatment … it’s been necessary that I scale back my professional commitments and focus on my health and family,” he said.

Curry, who is 70 and also underwent triple cardiac bypass surgery in 2011, is a Democrat who was first elected as prosecutor in 2010 and easily won re-election to a third term last year.

He won murder convictions against two men responsible for setting off a 2012 natural gas explosion that killed two people and damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes in an Indianapolis neighborhood.

He choked up during Monday’s news conference while recalling four police officers killed in the county during his time in office.

Gunmen were sentenced to life without parole in the separate shootings of Indianapolis officers David Moore and Perry Renn, while the gunman who fatally shot Indianapolis officer Rod Bradway was killed by another officer. Curry filed for the death penalty against the man charged with fatally shooting Southport police Lt. Aaron Allan, who had come to the man’s aid after his car overturned in a 2017 crash. That case is still pending in court.

Curry has unsuccessfully pushed the Republican-dominated Legislature to toughen laws on gun sales. He also was a prominent advocate for a state hate crimes law, but said Monday he still didn’t believe the law adopted this year without explicit protections for age, sex or gender identity was adequate.

“There is more work to do and I assure you this office will continue to advocate for a comprehensive hate crimes bill,” he said.

Curry also gained attention by criticizing President Donald Trump as politicizing the case of a Guatemala man illegally living in the U.S. and charged in a 2018 drunken crash that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and another man. Manuel Orrego-Savala pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated causing death and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Ryan Mears, who has been chief trial deputy prosecutor under Curry, will take over as acting county prosecutor. A caucus of Marion County Democratic precinct committee members will vote within 30 days on a replacement to complete Curry’s term through the end of 2022.

Curry said he would remain with the office for an undetermined time as a deputy prosecutor to help coordinate white collar crime cases going before a county grand jury.

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