Monday, September 12, 2011

We spoke of this before, but an update...

Hi Friends;

  I was looking over some old posts and wondered what happened to this boy.  Here is the story, and though it is old, it contains some information I didn't know.
  There are some things I've highlighted.  I think you can imagine my thoughts, so I won't beat the horse.  I can't help but to wonder about it all sometimes.  It's often depressing to realize the depths we sink.
  This type of stuff hurts to think about.  All we can do is love who we have with us for the moment.

Gingerich sentenced to 25 years in prison

Updated: Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011, 7:19 PM EST

Published : Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011, 2:56 PM EST

WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) - A 12-year-old Kosciusko County boy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the killing of the stepfather of one of his friends.

Today a judge sentenced Paul Gingerich to 30 years with the last five to be served on probation.

Back on April 20th of last year, Colt Lundy and Gingerich shot Phillip Danner, 49, in his home in Cromwell. Danner was shot four times and died in the home. Danner is Lundy's stepfather.

During the setencing hearing Tuesday Gingerich said, "I'm sorry for what happened to Mr. Danner. I'm sorry for what the family had to go through. I did wrong and I'm ready to [take responsibility] for my actions."

It was also recommended that Gingerich take part in the Youth Incarcerated as an Adult program at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. That is the same place Lundy currently is, according to Gingerich's attorney William Cohen.

Gingerich will also get credit for at least 250 days he's already been in jail. Cohen argued Gingerich should get credit for 258 days, saying Gingerich was detained in Illinois on April 21. Prosecutor Steven Hearn said Gingerich was detained, but wasn't technically arrested until April 29.

In September of 2010, a Kosciusko Circuit Court judge accepted Colt Lundy's plea deal and sentenced him to 30 years with the last five years of the sentence suspended. Lundy will serve that time on probation. The judge added that he's recommending to the Indiana Department of Corrections that Lundy be in the youth offender program in the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility until age 18. Lundy will also get credit for the 152 days he's already been in the Kosciusko County Jail.

Lundy pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in exchange for dropping the murder and aiding in murder charges.

New Details from Court:

Judge Rex Reed started the sentencing hearing Tuesday by saying he's reviewed letters from both sides, arguing for the approprite sentence for Paul Henry Gingerich, 12.

In November, Gingerich pleaded guilty to conspiracy to committ murder in exchange for dropping a murder and aiding in murder charge.

In court, Gingerich's father, Paul Gingerich, asked Judge Reed to give his son the minimum sentence. He had requested to give his statement to the judge in person in court rathar than write a letter as others did.

Paul Gingerich Sr. said he is grieving for the Danner family and for his son, whom with he can't rough-house or play ball any more. He asked for Judge Reed to consider his son's age.

"I know what he did ws wrong, but he should be punished as a child. Children follow. They do what they're told. They do not have the moral compass we do," he said in court.

He also cited religion as the center of a moral compass. Several religions, he said, recognize children are different from adults.

"We as adult must make decisions based on morals, not the law. The law of the land changes, not God's law," he said.

Gingerich's attorneys also argued that the boy should be sentenced to the minimum 20 years and that the sentence be carried out in a juvenile facility.

Fred Franco Jr., one of Gingerich's attorneys, said that while the court may have judged his client as an adult, he's still a boy. Gingerich, he said, had never been in trouble before.

"No one knows why he did what he did. Even Paul Henry can't tell you. Why he listened to Colt Lundy no one knows," Franco said.

Franco shed light on new statments Lundy had given to prosecutors after he had been sentenced. In those statements, Franco said Lundy said he had to kill his stepfather because he wanted his divorced parents to get back together again. That wouldn't be possible if Danner was involved. Franco added that Lundy said he had run away from home several times and Danner always brought him back. Lundy said in his statement that he didn't want Danner to bring him back again, Franco said in court.

"Paul didn't know Mr. Danner. This plan was initiated and carried forth by Colt," Franco said.

Franco argued that Gingerich and two other 12-year-old boys were bullied to be involved.

"The boys were afraid of Colt. Colt used to shoot the boys with BB guns," he said in court.

One 12-year-old boy was just a witness but didn't run away with the other three. The other 12-year-old stood watch outside the house and left with Lundy and Gingerich. He stayed in the juvenile system and has already finished serving six months in a juvenile facility.

Gingerich's parents had recently divorced and Franco said Gingerich also wanted to run away.

"All he wanted to do was run away. He made the biggest mistake of his life and he'll pay for it," Franco said.

Gingerich's other attorney, William Cohen, also argued that Lundy is more to blame than Gingerich.

"It was Colt's idea. Colt got the guns. Colt fired first. It was Colt's shot that killed Phillip Danner," Cohen said. "[Paul Gingerich] is a good boy at heart. This young man would not have formulated a plan to kill someone."

Cohen's arguments, however, focused

on asking Judge Reed to recommend Gingerich be placed in a juvenile facility.

"I bet he's the youngest person in Indiana to go to an adult prison. It will be another tragedy to send a 12-year-old boy to adult prison where his safety would be in question," Cohen said. "He would come out so much worse than if he were to go to a juvenile facility."

A psychologist, Dr. Stephen Ross, did an evaluation on Gingerich. Cohen said those results found that Gingerich was a "normal young boy, not a sociopath."

Kosciusko County Prosecutor Steven Hearn said while he wasn't going to respond to every argument the defense made, it didn't mean he agrees with them.

"Nobody remembers when we fist learn you don't take someone's property or hurt them," Hearn said. "Those are core moral values. Paul Henry didn't come from a deprived family. They had core values and I can't believe he didn't know core values and didn't know them at a young age."

He went on to say that there was no real justice or punishment to be had in this case. Justice, he said, is a moral right.

"There is no right in this case. There is nothing anyone can do to correct the wrong to Phillip Dnner," Hearn said.

Punishment, he said, is to correct someone's behavior.

"I don't think this will happen again, so we can't do that either. Whatever sentence the court renders, it's not our place to be happy or unhappy about it. We trust in the State of Indiana," Hearn said.

Details of the Crime:

Police said Danner was shot multiple times: once in the eye, once in the wrist and twice in the chest. Police testimony said Lundy, Paul Gingerich, 12, and another 12-year-old had planned for weeks to kill Danner and go to Arizona to sell T-shirts to "drug people."

Lundy and Gingerich each fired two shots at Danner. Kosciusko County Detective Jonathan Tyler has testified Lundy talked about his plan to kill Danner with several boys on a playground in their neighborhood on April 20. Lundy then went back to his home and got Danner's revolver and semi-automatic handgun.

After Lundy gave a signal, Gingerich, and another 12-year-old boy came into the Lundy house. Tyler said Gingerich went into the home through Lundy's bedroom window and Lundy gave Gingerich the handgun. Tyler continued saying Lundy and Gingerich then went into the living room and sat on the couch and a chair waiting for Danner to come to the doorway between the kitchen and living room. When Danner did, Tyler said both boys fired two shots.

After they fired the guns, Tyler said Lundy and Gingerich went to the front door where the other boy was outside to show him what had happened. Lundy then packed clothes, food, ammunition and fire arms and later that night the three boys left in Danner's car to go to Arizona.

The police investigation stated that there is no evidence of abuse between Danner and Lundy.


Scottie said...

Hello Randy. James, Ron and I were talking about this. We can't understand this. James called it a horrible double standard as this child would be a child in any other situation. Be treated by a child, and an adult in others. Who makes up these rules. It is horrible and my heart hurts for this boy and the hardships he well face.

Would it be OK for me to re-blog this post on my site ... giving you the credit of course as you did all the work.

Loving hugs....warm hugs ...Hugs to help share the pain. Scottie

randy said...

Of Course, Scottie;
And, no credit necessary. I think people need to understand that there is a double standard in the justice system. To tell someone they are an 12!... and yet deny them all the other rights as an adult? The only people this makes sense to are judges and prosecutors, evidently. Post away!

Sammy B said...

Hello Randy
This is a tragedy, for all concerned. And, of course, for 12 year olds to be tried, sentenced and punished as adults is ridiculous and unjust, in fact, utterly hypocritical, whatever they've done. It strikes me, though, coming from a different culture, that this kind of case would be almost impossible to envisage happening in the same way in the UK, simply because of the difficulty, for the average person, of obtaining firearms. If the victim hadn't had guns lying about in his home, he'd probably still be alive today. Some constitutional rights are probably not as valuable as others, at least as seen from this side of 'the pond'.

Love & best wishes
Sammy B

randy said...

Hi Sammy;
You have a point there. And interestingly enough, I noticed that gun safes were in a sales flyer and only cost $157. By the way things are going here, that likely translates to about ~35pounds.
But, you do have a point. At the risk of stepping on the rights of citizens, not to mention maligning the victim in this case, the availability of weapons is common factor for a great number of such crimes by juveniles.
And, as irony would have it, we have laws in this country that demand gun owners be responsible for the safety of their weapons and that we don't sell guns to 12 year old kids for a good reason....they don't have the presumed responsibility of mind to own one. Irony there.


Anonymous said...

Hi all,
this boy would be free in Germany. Only from the age of 14 years, a child is criminally responsible. He would eventually admitted to a children's home and would be led therapeutically.

randy said...

Hi Nikki;
I'm going to quote Scottie on this: Please...send us some of the sense you have in Germany. Our leaders seem far too lacking!

Anonymous said...

here is a link- I hope you can find a way to translate it.
greetings Nikki

randy said...

Hi Nikki;
Sorry to have been so long in responding...was out of town.
I used Bing's translation program and was able to see the way a child is considered a child needing guidance and education, perhaps some restriction to accomplish that. Here, not the same. Sadly.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

hey Randy. I was rereading the comments, and got to wondering. We are in a global economy, we have instant world wide news 24 /7 , so why the huge divergence with the way we treat minors to the way other countries do? Why do we treat basic human needs different than other industrialized nations. Why is it that emerging nations seem to be so different in human concerns than older settled countries?

Just wondering. Many hugs, Scottie

Anonymous said...

hey Randy. I was rereading the comments, and got to wondering. We are in a global economy, we have instant world wide news 24 /7 , so why the huge divergence with the way we treat minors to the way other countries do? Why do we treat basic human needs different than other industrialized nations. Why is it that emerging nations seem to be so different in human concerns than older settled countries?

Just wondering. Many hugs, Scottie

randy said...

Hi Scottie;
I see this double posted. I'm leaving it that way because it's a wonderful question. One day I'd just love to understand the answer.