The state of Indiana will fight a reversed ruling all the way to the state’s highest court.
In December, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a ruling from a lower court concerning Paul Henry Gingerich. At the time, Gingerich was thought to be the youngest person ever sentenced as an adult in Indiana. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
The case revolved around the killing of Phil Danner, the stepfather of Gingerich’s friend. The appeals court ruled that a lower court didn’t give Gingerich’s attorney sufficient time to prepare his case, a decision that would take the case back to juvenile court for a new hearing.
The office of Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a Petition to Transfer that would instead elevate the case to the Indiana Supreme Court, putting Gingerich’s fate in the hands of the state’s highest court.
“Balancing the interests of justice when an offender is so young is extremely difficult. In working with prosecutors, my office is concerned about not setting a precedent that would allow violent offenders to back out of their plea agreements after pleading guilty,” Zoeller said.
“Mindful of the deceased victim in this tragic case, we respectfully request the Indiana Supreme Court consider this appeal and make the final determination.”
Thursday marked the deadline for the state to appeal the case. The petition means Gingerich will remain in Department of Correction custody until the Indiana Supreme Court rules.