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Judges reverse teen’s conspiracy to commit murder conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed Paul Henry Gingerich’s conviction of Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder, finding the Kosciusko juvenile court abused its discretion in denying the then-12-year-old’s request for a continuance of a waiver hearing.

In April 2010, Gingerich and 15-year-old Colt Lundy shot and killed Lundy’s stepfather and then took off for Arizona. Police apprehended them in Illinois. At the time of the murder, Gingerich was a little over 5-feet tall, weighed 80 pounds and was a sixth grader.

At the April 22, 2010, probable cause hearing, the court set a hearing on the state’s motion to waive juvenile jurisdiction for April 29. Gingerich’s attorney sought a continuance to allow time to prepare witnesses, obtain a psychological evaluation of Gingerich, and review exhibits and reports, but the trial court denied the motion for continuance.

At the hearing, Gingerich’s attorney again sought a continuance, which was again denied. A county probation officer testified that there was only one facility that could take a juvenile convicted of homicide. The officer misstated that there is no parole in the juvenile Department of Corrections and other facts pertaining to juvenile law. Gingerich and Lundy were waived into adult court and Gingerich eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder.

The Marion County Public Defender Agency and the Children’s Law Center filed amicus curiae briefs in the case. The MCPDA in its brief argued that a full investigation is a necessary and statutorily required prerequisite to a wavier, and that juveniles in Marion County who face being waved into adult court typically get at least three months to investigate and prepare for the hearing. The CLC also argued that juveniles should have time to prepare for a waiver hearing.

The state claimed, among other things, that Gingerich hasn’t shown that he was prejudiced by the denial of his continuance, and that by pleading guilty, Gingerich “tacitly admit[ted] that he could not have met his statutory burden.”

“We note that Ind. Code § 31-30-3-4 implicates valid liberty interests held by Gingerich. As he notes, Ind. Code § 31-30-1-1 vests ‘exclusive original jurisdiction’ in the juvenile court over a child who is alleged to, before becoming eighteen years of age, commit a delinquent act,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the court. “Also, Ind. Code § 31-30-3-4 provides for a ‘full investigation and hearing’ prior to juvenile jurisdiction being waived.

“Thus, at the outset of the filing of the delinquency petition Gingerich enjoyed the panoply of protections associated with being tried in the juvenile system, and he was entitled to a full investigation and hearing prior to the court ordering waiver. Accordingly, Gingerich’s liberty was at stake when the State moved to waive Gingerich into adult court.”

The judges ordered further proceedings on the matter consistent with their opinion, Paul Henry Gingerich v. State of Indiana, 43A05-1101-CR-27.
 

 

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  • Unconstitutional
    Most prosecutors are idiots and seek to convict at any cost without regard to guilt or innocence. Prosecutors lie, manufacture evidence, withhold evidence benefical to defendants even when they know that defendants are innocent, all under protection from lawsuits and prosecution. In effect prosecutors are above the law! WAKE UP AMERICA AND STAND UP AND SPEAK UP FOR JUSTICE

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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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