INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The attorney for a Kosciusko County teenager who's won a new trial after being convicted at age 12 of helping to kill a friend's stepfather says her client should be "the poster child for successful juvenile rehabilitation."
The Indiana Court of Appeals says Paul Henry Gingerich wasn't given due process when a judge waived him into adult court, where he was sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
Gingerich and a 15-year-old friend were convicted in the April 2010 fatal shooting of the friend's stepfather, 49-year-old Phillip Danner. According to court documents, the two boys were plotting to run away to Arizona with another friend.
The documents say Gingerich told police he simply went along with his older friend and didn't believe his friend was serious about killing his stepfather. He said he closed his eyes when he fired the gun in Danner's living room.
The 15-year-old, who also pleaded guilty as an adult to conspiracy to commit murder, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Attorney Monica Foster says Gingerich is doing "extremely well" in the juvenile justice system. She says he's a straight-A student with no disciplinary problems and participates in his rehabilitation program "with flying colors."
That's why Foster believes Gingerich isn't risking a longer sentence with the new juvenile hearing that the appeals court ordered Tuesday.