Kids 12 and older could be sent to adult court under new bill

Photo from scene following shooting at Noblesville West Middle School on May 25, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Kids as young as 12 years old could be waived to adult court if they’re facing attempted murder charges under a new bill.

An Indiana senate committee passed Senate Bill 279 unanimously this week, saying it would give judges more discretion.

It stems from the Noblesville West Middle School shooting back in May.

A 13-year-old student walked into his science classroom and shot two people: Ella Whistler and Jason Seaman.

Under current Indiana law, an offender needs to be at least 14 years old and facing murder charges in order to be waived to adult court.

If Senate Bill 279 were to become law, the age minimum requirement would drop to 12 years old. Also, even if the child faced attempted murder charges, he or she could be waived into adult court.

Had this law been in place before May, the Noblesville shooter would have likely been moved into our adult justice system, lawmakers say.

The Indiana Public Defender Council isn’t too happy about the bill. They say young kids that commit these crimes need rehabilitation, not necessarily punishment.

We want to point out that the bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law.

It now goes to the full Senate for a vote, and then it will potentially go to the House.

Governor Eric Holcomb will then have the final say as to whether he wants to sign off on it.

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