UPDATE: Kosc. Co. murder apparently planned in advance - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Kosc. Co. murder apparently planned in advance


Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department released an update to their investigation of the Tuesday murder of Phillip Danner.

The department believes that the 15-year-old step-son of Danner had been planning the murder for sometime.  The two other juveniles involved had agreed to leave Indiana after the murder and travel to Arizona to sell T-shirts to "drug people".

Sheriff Goshert said that the juveniles had originally planned to tie up the 15-year-old's mother, cut the telephone lines and kill Danner.  However the mother was in Florida on vacation at the time of the murder.  The two 12-year-old suspects went over to the Danner residence on Tuesday at approximately 5 or 6 p.m. to meet with the 15-year-old.  One went into the home and was apparently given a handgun by the 15-year-old.  The other 12-year-old waited outside.

Phillip Danner was shot four times; in the eye, in the wrist, and twice in the chest.  

According to the Sheriff's report, the 12-year-old boys went home and pretended to sleep, while they waited for the 15-year-old to come and pick them up. 

One 12-year-old was charged Thursday with aiding and causing a murder.  The other 12-year-old and the 15-year-old were both charged with murder as juveniles. All three boys will be back in court next week, April 29th, at 2 p.m. for a wavier hearing, but are currently in custody at a juvenile detention facility.  According to the Kosciusko County Prosecutor's Office, the waiver hearing is the legal procedure to determine they should be tried as adults.  Indiana law allows for juveniles from the age of 10 and above to be waived as adults for these crimes if jurisdiction is established.


Previously posted on FOX28.com

Sergeant Chad Hill told FOX 28 that the department now believes two of the three juveniles arrested on Tuesday in Peru, Illinois were involved in a homicide.  The Kosciusko County Coroner's Office determined that Phillip A. Danner, 49, died of multiple gunshot wounds inside his home on East Doswell Blvd., in rural Cromwell, Indiana.  The home is near Lake Wawasee.

The sheriff says a 15-year-old boy shot his stepfather in the head before fleeing with two 12 year old friends to Illinois.  The department now believes that one of the 12-year-olds was also involved in the shooting.  The three were arrested at a Walmart store in Peru.

Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department detectives met with Peru, Illinois police officials who had detained the three juveniles in connection with the murder. Kosciusko County Deputies have transported the juveniles back to Warsaw for further investigation into the death of Danner.

Information regarding the autopsy on Danner and the names of the juveniles being interviewed are not being released at this time according to Kosciusko County Prosecutor's Office.

The sheriff says the 15 year old boy, who is a freshman at Wawasee High School, could face charges as an adult.

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