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Indiana man free after being sentenced in killing at age 12

August 1, 2017

An Indiana man who was sentenced as a juvenile to 25 years in prison for helping kill his friend's stepfather has been released after spending seven years behind bars.

Paul Gingerich, 19, has been living with his mother in Fort Wayne since his release in March, the Indianapolis Star reported .

Gingerich was 12 when he helped 15-year-old Colt Lundy fatally shoot Lundy's stepfather, 49-year-old Phil Danner. The 2010 shooting near Lake Wawasee was part of the boys' plan to runaway to California or Arizona. The boys were sentenced as adults to 25 years in prison.

Child advocates and juvenile justice groups pushed for a change to the state's sentencing guidelines, and Gingerich was resentenced last year under a new law named after him after. "Paul's Law" lets juveniles who commit serious crimes receive alternative sentences.

Gingerich will be under 24-hour electronic monitoring until next year and court supervision until 2020. Afterward he'll begin 10 years of probation.

Allen Superior Court Magistrate Samuel Keirns will monitor his progress and has the ability to send Gingerich back to prison if he violates the terms of his release.

Gingerich currently works at a manufacturing facility.

"He's really working hard on doing everything he is supposed to do and really trying to move forward," said Nicole Gingerich, his mother.

Paul Gingerich declined the newspaper's request for comment.

Lundy didn't pursue a second trial under the new sentencing rules. He remains at Correctional Industrial Facility in Pendleton with the earliest possible release date in 2021.

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