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Indiana school shooting might prompt juvenile law change

January 16, 2019

Indiana law might be changed so that children as young as 12 could face attempted murder charges in adult court in a move prompted by a suburban Indianapolis school shooting.

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee on Tuesday unanimously endorsed Senate Bill 279, which would give judges discretion over whether to move attempted murder cases from juvenile court.

Prosecutors could not seek adult charges last year against the 13-year-old boy who wounded a classmate and teacher at Noblesville West Middle School because no one died in the May 25 shooting, and the boy was younger than 14.

Bill sponsor Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, says justice wasn’t served because of what she called a legal loophole.

The Indiana Public Defender Council argues children so young are best handled in the juvenile court system.

Video of Tuesday’s committee hearing may be viewed here.

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