Appeals Court returns Gingerich case to juvenile court - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Appeals Court returns Gingerich case to juvenile court

Paul Gingerich (Courtesy Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department) Paul Gingerich (Courtesy Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department)

The Indiana Court of Appeals has sent a case involving a Kosciusko County teen, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, back to a juvenile court.

Paul Gingerich was accused of helping Colt Lundy kill his stepfather in April of 2010. Gingerich was 12-years-old at the time, Lundy was 15.  The two were tried as adults, though.

A hearing to waive Gingerich to adult court was held on April 29, 2010.  The judge denied that, keeping Gingerich in adult court, even after attorneys for Gingerich argued they needed more time to build their case and have a psychological and/or psychiatric evaluation of their client done.

Gingerich pleaded guilty in adult court to Conspiracy to Commit Murder and was sentenced in January of 2011 to 30 years in prison with a 5 year suspension.

The case was argued before the Indiana Court of Appeals in October of 2012. The unanimous decision sends the case back to the Kosciusko County juvenile court system for further proceedings.

In a written statement, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said his office is still reviewing the decision and hasn't decided whether to appeal the ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court.

"Among the most disheartening cases seen in the criminal justice system are those involving young people charged with extremely violent crimes. For prosecutors and judges, these are among the most difficult cases as well in terms of balancing the rights of the juvenile with the safety of the community.  We will carefully review our options after consulting with the county prosecutor and conducting further research," said Zoeller.

The Attorney General's office says Gingerich will remain in custody.

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