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Courts

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Gingerich ruling to be appealed

Seeks to avoid precedent for young violent offenders

The state will appeal an appellate-court ruling that tossed out Paul Gingerich's conviction for conspiracy to commit murder, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Thursday.

"My office is concerned about not setting a precedent that would allow violent offenders to back out of their plea agreements after pleading guilty," Zoeller said in a statement.

On Dec. 11, the Indiana Court of Appeals found a Kosciusko County juvenile-court judge violated Gingerich's due process rights in a hearing waiving him to adult court, and tossed out his conviction. Today was the deadline for the state to appeal that ruling.

Gingerich remains in Department of Correction custody, Zoeller said.

Gingerich – then 12 – along with then-15-year-old Colt Lundy, each were charged with murder in the death of Philip Danner, Lundy’s stepfather. They shot him to death April 20, 2010, inside his Kosciusko County home. Both pleaded guilty.

Gingerich received a 25-year-sentence. He could be out of prison by age 24 depending on education credits and good-behavior rewards.

The state contended Gingerich didn’t have the right to appeal the waiver to adult court because he later pleaded guilty in adult court after many months and ample opportunity to examine the evidence, investigate legal and factual issues and consider completed psychiatric evaluations. The appellate court rejected the argument.

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