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.
Groove of the Day
79° and Partly Cloudy