Gingerich’s Future May Be Determined Friday

by Deb Patterson, Ink Free News

October 25, 2016

Paul Gingerich, now 18, may find out Friday morning if he will continue his sentence on probation or remain in jail. A continuation of a hearing on alternative sentencing options will be held at 10 am Friday in Kosciusko Circuit Court. Special Judge James Heuer of Whitley County Circuit Court will preside.

A hearing was held on April 22 in which his attorney, Monica Foster, Indianapolis, sought probation for the remainder of his term, including those provided by the Indiana Department of Corrections’ Aftercare Plan. That hearing was continued until a conduct evaluation could be conducted by the department of corrections for placement in a DOC facility/program, and a screening be conducted by the Allen County Community Corrections program be made for sentencing alternative in that county.

Since late April Gingerich has undergone evaluation by DOC officials. The reception diagnostic center filed its report with the court on May 16 and on July 15, the Allen County Community Corrections filed its eligibility report. It was on July 19 the court set the review hearing to resume on October 28.

Gingerich, who at the age of 12, was sentenced in late 2010 following a plea agreement of conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Phillip Danner on April 20, 2010. He was sentenced to 30 years with five years on probation. But he appealed his case to the state appellate court. While his sentenced was upheld, it was modified on Feb. 3, 2014, but under “Paul’s Law,” a lesser sentence could be issued once he reached the age of 18.

The plea agreement accepted that day included upon Gingerich reaching the age of 18, the case would again be reviewed.

Foster suggested in April it may be appropriate to impose a period of home detention for more gradual reentry. “There is simply no legitimate penological purpose to be served by committing Paul Gingerich to further incarceration. Indeed, to commit Paul Gingerich to an adult prison would run a very real risk of destroying the progress that has undeniably been made with this young man.”

Under Paul’s Law, a judge can consider alternative sentencing options: transfer to adult prison to serve the remaining sentence, placement on probation, home detention or work release. His mother would like him to reside with her at her Fort Wayne home. He also has the support of his two sisters.

The 28-page motion filed by Foster for that hearing noted the history of the case and a memorandum in support of the sentence review, an initial evaluation on January 18, 2011, and another on December 28, 2015. Foster noted the areas of concern noted by the DOC, Gingerich’s effort exceeded expectations and his level of improvement was dramatic. His educational accomplishments and activity and program participation were noted. Additionally Gingerich’s diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, surgery to remove a large portion of his colon, use of a colostomy bag and additional surgeries were brought before the court.

Gingerich is currently in the medical unit at the Pendleton Juvenile facility.

His co-defendant, Colt Lundy, was denied a sentence modification on March 24, 2016.



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4 Responses to “tomorrow”

  1. October 27, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    My best wishes accompany him. I sincerely believe that incarceration is not a good option for him and could only be counterproductive. Leaving Pendleton scot-free would probably be a miracle for him and I don’t believe in miracles. So, I hope he will be paroled, without having to serve a too long time on probation and avoiding home detention.

  2. 2 Willow54
    October 28, 2016 at 3:54 am

    These last few hours before the judge’s decision is handed down must be agonizing for the family, and especially for Paul. Up till now, every effort by both boys’ attorneys to get some traction in the case has been thwarted by demon prosecutor Dan Hampson, who has pursued them with a zeal bordering on the manic. It took Monica Foster, acting on behalf of Gingerich, nearly three years of legal arguments just to get him to court for the appeal that resulted in the new law named after him, and the process of sentence review at age 18, which he is now going through.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, however. The bar has already been set. In the very same week in April this year that Paul Gingerich sat in front of a judge to listen to the opening submissions in his sentence review hearing, Colt Lundy had already appeared in the same courtroom to request a reduction in his 25 year sentence and was turned down flat. Coinciding with Colt’s 21st birthday as the hearing did, this outcome must have seemed like a really terrible birthday present. Anyone with more than a passing interest in this case cannot have missed the subsequent comments by conspiracy theorists suggesting that Colt’s future was being sacrificed to save Paul, but I’m firmly of the opinion that we should keep our proverbial powder dry and wait this few more hours. Nothing is decided for sure until the judge speaks at 10 a.m. in Kosiuscko County Court this morning. I’m pretty sure there will be prayers being said in many quarters pleading for this young man to be given a break at long last.

  3. 3 Willow54
    October 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

    No doubt Dan will want to update this story in more detail later but I just finished watching a live stream from an Indiana news station and the result is in. Paul will be transferred to adult prison for 300 days then released to home detention for the next 20 years! You couldn’t make it up.

    • 4 Willow54
      October 28, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Turns out the station I was watching did make it up. The 300 days adult prison sentence stands, but will be credited down to 90 days for time served and good behaviour. Home detention on an ankle tag will be for one year and then parole for two years. Sounds a whole lot better.

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