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Bill to try 12-year-olds as adults for attempted murder fails

April 25, 2019

An effort to change Indiana law so that children as young as 12 could face attempted murder charges in adult court has failed in the state Legislature.

The push came after prosecutors couldn’t seek adult charges 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. Fourteen is the current minimum age for possible adult charges in attempted murder cases.

The state Senate had supported moving such cases involving 12- and 13-year-olds from juvenile court, but that provision was removed from the bill’s final version approved Tuesday.

House Criminal Code Committee Chairwoman Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who initially supported Senate Bill 279 then blocked it in a House committee, says she shares worries with many advocacy groups over whether children so young should be in adult courts.

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