Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 11, 2012

Wawasee teen's murder conspiracy conviction reversed


THE GOSHEN NEWS

— The conspiracy to commit murder conviction for a Cromwell teen has been reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The court ruled Tuesday that Paul Henry Gingerich’s case has to return to the Kosciusko County Juvenile Court because he did not get a proper hearing before being waived to adult court, where he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.

Gingerich was 12 years old and a sixth-grader at Wawasee Middle School in April 2010 when he was arrested and charged in the death of Philip Danner in Cromwell. Gingerich was convicted of the conspiracy charge after he allegedly helped Colt Lundy, another teen, shoot and kill Danner, who was Lundy’s stepfather.

Gingerich’s appeal attorneys successfully argued that his trial attorney, Thomas Earhart, did not have adequate time to prepare for a hearing to waive Gingerich to adult court and have psychological and psychiatric evaluations completed before that hearing. The court ruled that a judge’s decision to not allow more time for the defense to prepare before the waiver hearing amounted to denial of due process under the United State’s Constitution.

Gingerich  pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced in January 2011 to 30 years in prison.