State to take Gingerich appeal to Indiana Supreme Court

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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.


  • SomeNews

    Humans develop coping skills AND a hard line knowledge of right and wrong by age 12. As he was smart enough to plan and then carry out pre-meditated murder he was also smart enough to consider the variable of the protection factor of being under the age of 18. He should be tried and sentenced as an adult. My condolences to his family, but this child is a socio-path and a danger!

    • Paul

      Paul Henry is not a phycopath. Nobody even bothered to investigate why this happened. Adults get away with a lot more every day . This was the equivalent of a modern day lynching. We had4 days to prepare for a waiver hearing.

  • Anonymous

    It wasn't his family it was a another kid who he barely knew, but was a friend of his who convinced him to help with the killing of his friends stepfather, even though i don't want this kid paul gingerich to be released until he serves out his sentence, i don't think he should be tried as an adult though, he showed remorse, where the other kid, didn't even acknowledge that he committed the crime.

  • Malc in bg

    Yes some news,in some cases kids may be as you say,but I believe they would be in the minority!
    But,a child is not an adult,and should not be treated as one,reguardless of what ever crime he has committed.A child should be tried as a child,because that is exactly what he is.The sycopath is not Paul gingerich,but it could be colt Lundy,I'm not qualified to say!
    In my opinion there is something terribly wrong with any countries justice system,where as they can charge a child as an adult,infact the only other country I can think of besides the U.S.A. That does this is Somalia! Does'nt say much for the good old USA does it!

  • BobH

    The State prosecutor is using faulty logic. If the waiver to adult court was not legal (which is what the appeals court says), then in law there was no plea bargain and no plea of guilty to conspiracy. The juvenile court judge waived this 12 year old to adult court only 7 days after his arrest, leaving the defense attorney insufficient time to investigate. By waiving to adult court, the judge was determining that IN NO CIRCUMSTANCES at trial could a sentence of 9 years (to age 21) be sufficient, and that a MINIMUM of 45 years was the only alternative. The real failing in the law is that once waived to adult court there is no return, and the adult court does not have juvenile sentencing options – often no discretion at all. House Bill 1365 would have remedied this, but it did not complete all stages before the session ended. Best thing in Indiana will be if it is reintroduced, swiftly passed and used retrospectively to right injustices of over-harsh sentencing where there is evidence of redemption.

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