Juveniles tried as adults in Kosciusko murder - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Juveniles tried as adults in Kosciusko murder

Colt Lundy, 15, of Cromwell Colt Lundy, 15, of Cromwell
Paul Gingerich, 12, of Cromwell Paul Gingerich, 12, of Cromwell

A Kosciusko County judge says two juveniles will be charged as adults for their part in a murder.  That was Thursday's ruling in a waiver hearing at the county courthouse in Warsaw.  Now in the adult court system, both boys could face more than 45 years in prison. 

Police say 15-year-old Colt Lundy planned to kill his stepfather at least two weeks before the shooting.  His 12-year-old friend Paul Gingerich was identified as the other alleged shooter.  Police say both boys fired two shots, killing 49-year-old Phillip Danner in his home on April 20th.  

Thursday, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Daniel Hampton persuaded the judge adult court was fitting for the crime and circumstances.  The judge also said the two boys will remain in the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department's custody without bail.  We should note that Fox 28 does not typically reveal names or show photos of juvenile suspects.  However, we are making an exception in this case since the suspects have been charged as adults.

News of the decision spread quickly throughout Kosciusko County.  It's a big blow to the defense team and a crippling decision heard by those who still can't believe the murder even happened.  It was a packed house in Kosciusko County Superior Court Thursday afternoon where the judge decided that 15 year old Colt Lundy and 12 year old Paul Gingerich would be tried as adults in the shooting death of 49-year old Phillip Danner. 

"We disagree with the judge's decision and now we're going to have to live with it," said Lundy's Defense Attorney John Barrett.          

A decision that Lundy's Defense Attorney John Barrett says he didn't want because now the boys will face harsher sentences in an adult system where he says betterment is minimal. 

"I don't think there is a great chance for rehabilitation there," said Barrett.

News spread to the community. 

"It's just a big shock...trying to kill somebody at that age?" asked Wawasee Middle School Parent Amanda Hyndman. 

Syracuse's Amanda Hyndman is a parent at Wawasee Middle school where Gingerich was a sixth grade student.  Her step-daughter, Tiffany, says she knew the 12 year old. 

"He's one of those loving guys just care about everybody. He's nice," said Gingerich's Classmate Tiffany Hyndman. 

But that doesn't mean the Hyndmans will cut the boys any slack if they did commit the murder. 

"If he actually did something really bad then he should be tried as an adult because that was his decision," said Gingerich's Classmate Tiffany Hyndman. 

"At least the 12 year old the adult charge is kind of strong but nowadays...if they can do the crime do the time," said Wawasee Middle School Parent Amanda Hyndman.

And the judge says that Lundy and Gingerich's crime fit the bill for an upgraded charge as adults.  The third boy involved in the crime did not participate in Thursday's hearing because he was not identified as a trigger man.  The twelve year old will face the judge in the near future to find out if he'll be charged as an adult or as a juvenile.

Posted by: Nadia Crow

Previously posted on FOX28.com

A 15-year-old boy and a 12-year-old friend will be tried for murder as adults in the shooting death of the older boy's stepfather.

Kosciusko County Superior Court Judge Duane Huffer waived the boys to adult court Thursday after a nearly two-hour hearing attended by about 50 spectators.

Colt Lundy, 15, and Paul Gingerich, 12, both of Cromwell, will now face charges in adult court.

Defense attorneys argued the boys would be better served in the juvenile system, but Huffer said it was not equipped to handle cases of this magnitude.

Police say the two boys shot and killed 49-year-old Phillip Danner on April 20 in his home near Lake Wawasee about midway between Fort Wayne and South Bend and planned to run away to Arizona.  Danner was Lundy's stepfather.

Another 12-year-old boy allegedly served as a lookout. His case is being handled separately.


While it is normally not the practice of FOX 28 to release names or pictures of juveniles, due to the decision by the court to try the suspects in this case as adults, and because of the severity of the crime, we have chosen to publish this information.  Both Lundy and Gingerich are charged with murder and each is accused of shooting the victim. 


Previously posted on FOX28.com

A Warsaw judge will decide whether a 15-year-old boy and a 12-year-old friend should be tried for murder as adults in the shooting death of the older boy's stepfather.

A hearing will be held Thursday afternoon in Kosciusko County Superior Court in Warsaw to determine whether the juvenile charges against the boys and another 12-year-old should be waived to adult court. The third boy is charged with aiding or causing murder.

During a fact-finding hearing, one of the younger boys said he helped the 15-year-old shoot his 49-year-old stepfather as he walked into the kitchen of their home near Lake Wawasee, located about midway between Fort Wayne and South Bend.

Police say the boys planned to run away to Arizona.

Previously posted on FOX28.com

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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