14
May
14

reinvention

1399656665021-LUNDY-16

Colt Lundy claims he had never bullied anyone. He makes quilts, supposedly for the homeless, but he will sell them, too. He says he will not begrudge Paul Henry being released from prison when he is 18, but I wonder about this given his inclination in the past to shed off part of the blame for Philip Danner’s death. He claims to be unsure of whose idea the murder was at first. At the same time, he is said to be a “model prisoner.” He has gotten his GED. He is growing up and becoming more emotionally mature.

Bobby King, a journalist for the Indianapolis Star, had an article published on Monday about Colt, now 19, who had become an “afterthought” in the murder in which Colt had involved two of his friends, Paul Henry Gingerich and Chase Williams. The furor resulting from the sentencing of Paul Henry, a 12-year-old, to 25 years in an adult prison was so great, says King, that the story of Colt Lundy became lost.

I will admit that I am unaware of all the true facts surrounding the crime, although this is not due to lack of interest or trying. I have determined to the best of my knowledge that Colt himself was the source of certain exculpatory disinformation about the shooting and his relationship with Danner. Early in my efforts to have the incident reconsidered by the courts and the public, I was warned off from having any contact with Colt by his father Carlos Lundy—a request which I have scrupulously honored, despite the fact that I did not think this was in the best interests of the boy. But then I was subsequently warned off from supporting Colt by a source I trusted—someone with the means to research his story—who led me to believe that Colt’s version of events was self-serving, inventive, and not to be trusted.1399656665012-LUNDY-37 cropped

Perhaps it derives from my inclination to side with young people, but I do not find it especially unusual for a young person to “fudge” the facts to make some acceptable sense of a senseless act of violence. I think that if Colt would ask me for my help, I might be inclined to give it, provided he were truthful with me. I have since required young people that I help to first tell me truthfully how they have come to be in trouble with the law.

But I am not inclined to reach out to Colt, especially given the fact that his father has sued me for publicizing the father’s criminal record (the case has gone to court in Kosciusko County IN, I have asked that the case be dismissed, and the judge has taken it under advisement). Regardless of what the same court that sentenced a 12-year-old to a 25-year sentence may decide, I know I have the truth on my side. Moreover, the father’s attempt to bully me through the courts only reinforces the claims that the son, in turn, bullied others.

Yet no one should be denied a chance at redemption. The absolute truth is hard to know and often includes elements of wishful thinking, intention, and anticipation. There is much in Colt’s version of truth of which to be supportive, if not to be believed whole cloth. The truth and redemption are dynamic things, and should include visions of what is possible, as well as what has been.

۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to Roseanne Cash performing “The Truth About You”

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3 Responses to “reinvention”


  1. May 14, 2014 at 4:21 am

    I did say I would never give up on Colt, though there’s nothing I can really do. Simply put, I don’t think I have ever (as a kid) been completely honest about things that got me in trouble or in a position to be judged by others. Don’t know of any kid that has. My cousin would lie about his grades even after report cards had been given to parents. Colt was just a 15 yo boy. Add the adrenalin, the shock and the courts experience and I don’t think he has a clear picture in his mind. Not about whose idea the murder was, but the details as how it all really happened. Or why. We often remember things as we planned them or hoped they would unfold, skipping many details that would present the events (and indeed our motives) as something else. And as a kid in a prison, he was giving versions that perhaps he thought would work to his advantage. Maybe at first he wanted to be seen as a tough guy, because he was quite short for his age? Also, many bullies rarely realize what they’re doing is bullying. As I said for Paul Henry, Colt has also been through a lot of physical and emotional changes in the last 4 years and it must seem like he’s paying for someone else’s mistake. And paying dearly. If we are to fight for the general public to look at them for who they are now and accept them without prejudice, giving them a real chance and a fresh start, we should be the first to do that.

    I do believe Colt must think it injust for Paul Henry to be free while he stays in prison. And I think he is very capable of lying about things and trying to get more sympathies for himself. We all lie. Don’t tell me Paul Henry never lies? It still doesn’t make people dangerous or unworthy of sympathy and help. In fact, I think lying would show his desire to be seen as someone else and accepted once again. And that means he wants to be different. And out of prison. Which is a very good sign. He needs help, not further isolation.

    In my opinion, the first thing Paul Henry should do after (hopefully!) being released is to visit Colt, check how he’s doing and forgive him. For everything that has or has not happened. Year 2010 can’t be made better by anyone. And _for_ anyone. But 2014 and beyond can.

    As for Colt’s father, perhaps he just wants to avoid facing the obvious fact – that much (or most) of his son’s “demise” is his fault. Not just for naming a kid after a gun, but for creating a broken home in which to grow up. So sorry, but I would not listen to him when it comes to Colt’s best interest.

  2. May 15, 2014 at 2:22 am

    I am pleased to note that the chubby teenager that was Colt three years ago has become a svelte young man who continues to educate himself with the hope to become a better person. He is on the path to accomplish this but he accepts not yet entierely its responsibilities, although this will probably come when he will be more mature. After all, he‘s only aged 19 and this is not the age of the full maturity. And I wonder to what extent his attitude of denial and his so-called lies are not simply self-defence mechanisms created by his mind to enable him to cope without having to deal with responsibilities that he is not yet able to assume. But, with the time, this will come.
    Let us not forget that he evolves into a place where the worst elements of society of Indiana, are grouped, this since he was 15½ and that a judge has decided that he had to serve his sentence in the hell of Wabash Valley. Colt probably deserved a better treatment on the part of Justice but there were not many options available at the time. And he was definitely better armed, physically, mentally and psychologically, than Paul Henry, to cope with the challenges of life in a prison.
    I have also read M. King’s article and I’m pleased to see that certain things are now presented under an other light. It’s regrettable that the image of the victim is tarnished by publically revealing that he had a problem with alcohol (something I suspected as I saw his picture for the first time). But that explains one (but not all) of the reasons of the difficult relationship between Colt and its stepfather, a reason who could have led Colt in the runaway plan who ended so tragically. I enjoy to see that Colt, even indirectly, confirms that Paul didn’t lie as he said that the two boys had an discuss before committing the irreparable and that he tried to dissuade Colt to kill M. Danner. And that Colt was the first to pull the trigger, that Paul was only a follower.
    For our friend Cane: IDOC’s policy is to prohibit contacts between inmates involved in the same case. So he will not be allowed to communicate or to visit him as long as the one or the other will be under the supervision of the State. Paul will probably forgive one day to Colt but many time will pass before he can express this forgiveness.

  3. 3 Allan Yates
    May 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I would postulate that 3-4 years after the event, it is possible that neither Paul nor Colt really know what happened that night anymore. The mind is very good at re-writing history to heal itself. Unlike with Paul, there were never enough data points on Colt for me to form a firm opinion on his actions and culpability; and there still aren’t, and probably never will be. All I can hope, and it appears to be the case, is that he can rejoin society as a productive member. The path he takes, and any rationalisation he makes with himself or others, is not as important as the destination.


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