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Friday, May 6, 2016

12 years old Sentenced As An Adult

WARSAW, Ind. (WXIN) — A northern Indiana teenager who was 12 years old when he helped kill his friend's stepfather has a shot at freedom.
Paul Henry Gingerich turned 18 in February, and under a state law that bears his name, a judge can now consider three alternative sentencing options, including Gingerich's release. The judge could also transfer him to adult prison to serve the remainder of his 25-year sentence or place him on probation, home detention or work release.
Gingerich was believed to be the youngest person in Indiana to be sentenced as an adult. His case sparked an outcry that led to legislation known as "Paul's Law," which allows alternative sentences for juveniles who commit serious crimes.
Gingerich appeared Friday in a Kosciusko County courtroom for a hearing on those options, the Indianapolis Star reported. Gingerich's attorney, Monica Foster, is asking for probation or home detention. A decision is likely by summer.
Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility Superintendent Alison Yancey also testified, speaking about Gingerich's progress while in custody, including his becoming an honor student and his participation in community services.
The Indiana Department of Correction has determined that Gingerich has a low risk of re-offending.

Judge James Heuer called his progress "impressive" but also said he has to consider the victim's family, some of whom attended Friday's hearing.

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