Two days ago, Colt Lundy had a hearing in Kosciusko County IN to have his sentence reduced. The request was denied.

Said one of our readers who corresponds with Colt: “I am, to say the least, disappointed but not entirely surprised by this rejection; perhaps there will be another opportunity down the road. Colt has served only half of half of his 25-year sentence and the victim’s family, save for his widow, do not support this modification (at least at this time). However, I think that the judge has missed an opportunity to reward Colt for all of the things mentioned in the article.

“Colt is strong and will stay focused on his future, regardless of when his chance comes. My concern is not so much Colt, but rather the negative influences and individuals with whom he is incarcerated.

“As with Paul, every day of incarceration is another day exposed to negative influences and the possible loss of hope.”



Lundy’s Sentence Modification Denied

by Deb Patterson, Ink Free News

March 24, 2016

For the first time since he was sentenced almost six years ago, at the age of 15, Colt Lundy, now 20, was back in Kosciusko County. This time to request a sentence modification. However, his request was denied. He will continue to serve the remaining term of his sentence.

It was on September 27, 2010, Lundy was sentenced to 30 years at the Indiana Department of Corrections with the final five years suspended, served on probation. He was sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder. Initial charges were murder and aiding or causing the murder of his stepfather Phillip Danner, on April 20, 2010. Lundy served most of his time at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, a minimum/maximum security prison. He was moved in December to the Correctional Industrial Facility, near Pendleton.

According to the DOC his earliest possible release date is May 30, 2022. Because he was sentenced prior to a change in the sentencing law, Lundy is receiving one day credit for each day served along with credit for any programs completed.

The sentence modification request was heard by Kosciusko Superior 1 Judge David Cates who was appointed special judge in the case.

Before denying the modification, Cates expressed his gratitude for the presentation by both sides and the respect of all family and friends in the courtroom during court proceedings. “Mr Lundy, since you were sentenced, from day one, you have appropriately taken advantages of opportunities, I give you credit for that … continue the path in education and programs available. I expect you to do that.”

David Kolbe, who represented Lundy in the original case, continued his representation. Taking the stand was Lundy’s mother, Robin Danner, and his father, Carlos Lundy and Lundy himself. Through testimony of his parents, the court heard he would have a place to live, a job, and support of family and friends. His parents, who visit him once a month, told of the change in their son.

“Colt is very disciplined, very motivated,” said Robin Danner. The widow of the murdered victim said, “Colt made an impulsive decision … was a child … he now fully understands and is remorseful. He is interested in mentoring other juveniles to keep them from making the decision he made.”

His father stated Colt, at 15, was a scared, short, little on the chubby-child side, compared to what he is today. “He resisted drugs and gangs in the maximum security prison. He’s proven himself through different programs. His record speaks for itself. He’s earned a chance to be here on his own merits.”

Colt-Russel-Lundy-Original-ArrestLundy, who has been behind bars since April 21, 2010, described his life between the ages of 14 and now. “I’ve learned about myself, having nothing but time … I’ve taken every class I could possibly take so when I get out … prepared as possible.” He stated he wanted to know why he did what he did and received help figuring out himself. “I learned that what I did, I didn’t have the capability or intelligence for other alternatives … so many different ways to approach that. I wish I would have (known). I can’t take it back. I can’t apologize enough.”

Lundy said, while he could have appealed his sentence, he felt it would be dishonest because of the agreement he signed. “I felt it was honestly a slap in the face to the judge. It wasn’t deserved.” He wants to help other kids not take the path he took. “I want to keep them from going. Prison is a bad, horrible place for you.”

He shared experiences at Wabash Correctional Facility—daily fights, hostility, violence, nothing to do unless you take it upon yourself. “It’s been an eye opening experience, a scare factor most kids don’t get … I experience it in full … I would like you and the public and family to know this will never be made up for, what I did …”

Kolbe shared his experiences with Lundy, the goals of justice, the fact that Wabash Correctional Facility is a hard place to do time and “Colt did hard time” spending under 30% of his life in prison.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dan Hampton stated the state and Phillip Danner family objected to any sentence modification. He pointed out Judge Rex Reed considered factors when he issued the sentence, and the time reduction under the old statute instead of the new.


Deb Patterson has been with The Papers Inc. full-time since 1978. Starting out rewriting general news releases, Patterson has expanded to covering all areas in the reporting field and won numerous awards. She is also the former editor of four northern Indiana Senior Life publications.



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4 Responses to “unforgiven”

  1. March 26, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    It is sad news indeed. Not that Colt is left unforgiven or that his sentence wasn’t reduced. He would not have been released, anyway. So there is still time. But this was an important opportunity to show a change in both treatment and prevention of such cases, where kids are left to deal alone with impossible situations and then punished severely, far beyond what the law actually requires even for adults. Of course he is now a very different person to who he was at 15 and it must feel to him like he’s paying for someone else’s sins and like his signature on any document is not actually his own. Colt Lundy a man is living in hell because of something Cold Lundy a teen saw as the only way. And while I’m not saying he should be forgiven, this opportunity had to be used to show him and all the others that the system’s focus is correction, not simply punishment. And if Colt Lundy is one day killed in prison, will that be what the justice and correctional systems are there for? At the very least, he and all similar young men should be moved to facilities where their lives would not be on the line all day long. As it is, the system is simply forcing them to fail, to never escape the clutches of prison. Feels like justice is truly blind here.

    • 2 Daryl Watton
      March 26, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      What I have learned is that American prisons are not for rehabilitation but solely for punishment. Political outcomes trump political rhetoric (“Department of Corrections”, indeed). They do not convict and imprison the perpetrator, they convict and punish the crime. The personality and behaviour of an inmate is immaterial, not at trial, not at sentencing, not even at parole hearings. Sure, programs are available inside and in some lucky cases, the state rewards time cuts. But program success, otherwise, rarely rewards the inmate. I know a handful of inmates who are and will never be a danger to anyone who will not see any relief while hardened child-rapists, gang-bangers and other violent hoodlums dance through the revolving doors.

  2. March 27, 2016 at 3:11 am

    I just hope that this portends in no way the result of Paul Henry’s hearing, on April 22.

    It’s sad for Colt, especially if the Court decision is partially founded on the absence of forgiveness from Danner’s family. Even if I hold him for more responsible for what has happened on April 20, 2010 than Paul Henry, I think that Colt has the right, too, to have his case revisited and to have a second chance given to him. After all, none of the kids received a fair treatment in Court, at the time. The same argument on which Paul’s appeal was based can be applied to his case. As for Paul, his lawyer, too, had only five days to prepare a defense before the waiver hearing was held.
    The Court has probably missed an opportunity to address an unfair situation. I hope that another opportunity will be given to Colt. After all, such possibilities exist, in Indiana’s laws.

    PS: Colt was moved from Wabash Valley to Correctional Industrial Facility on April 2015, not on December. Dan mentioned it in this post: https://wandervogeldiary.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/still-waiting-2/

  3. 4 Willow54
    March 28, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    As long as the same prosecutor is involved in this case I fear there will be no change in the law’s attitude towards the two young men (as they are now) who were involved in it. The DA seems to have taken it upon himself to make sure both of them suffer the worst possible punishment for what they did, and as long as he is in this post, it looks as if he will continue to make sure of it.

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