Teen jailed when he was 12 years old gets shortened sentence

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Paul Gingerich was arrested when he was 12 years old

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A teen who was convicted of killing a man and sentenced as an adult when he was 12 years old learned his new sentence Friday.

Paul Gingerich was originally sentenced to 30 years in prison, with five years suspended after he and a 15-year-old friend, Colt Lundy, conspired to kill Lundy’s stepfather, Phil Danner, at a home near Lake Wawasee. Danner was fatally shot in 2010; each of the suspects fired two shots.

Gingerich became what is believed to be the youngest person in Indiana’s history to be sentenced as an adult. The sentence led to the passage of “Paul’s Law,” which allows for an alternative sentencing option in which juveniles who commit serious crimes and end up in adult court are placed in the juvenile system until they turn 18.

After that, a judge can then decide whether to send them to adult prison to serve out the remainder of their punishment or give them an alternative sentence.

In court Friday, a judge decided to do the latter, sentencing Gingerich to 90 days in adult prison. He’ll spend a year on home detention and 10 years on probation.

Gingerich told the court Friday that he knew he’d committed a “truly horrible crime” and apologized, our newsgathering partners at the IndyStar reported.

“I will never stop being sorry and I know sorry will never be enough,” Gingerich said.

The Indiana Department of Correction had previously determined that Gingerich, who became an honor student while in custody, had a low risk of re-offending.

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