Updated: Friday, 23 Apr 2010, 9:35 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 21 Apr 2010, 9:43 AM EDT
CROMWELL, Ind. (WANE) - A 12-year-old and a 15-year-old connected to a man found dead in Kosciusko County Wednesday, have been charged in juvenile court with murder. Another 12-year-old involved has also been charged with aiding and causing murder.
Kosciusko County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Dan Hampton said that Chase M. Williams, 12, Cromwell, has been charged as a juvenile with Aiding and Causing a murder. Paul H. Gingerich, 12, Cromwell, and Colt R. Lundy, 15, have been charged as juveniles with Murder. Colt Lundy is the stepson of the victim, Phillip Danner.
On Wednesday, deputies with the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department took three young people back to Indiana to be questioned in connection with the death of a Cromwell man whose body was discovered early that morning. The Coroner’s report said the man was shot once in wrist, once in face and twice in torso with a revolver and a semi-automatic handgun.
Lundy, Williams and Gingerich had been located and detained in Illinois. The boys told police they had plotted to run away, but Lundy said he couldn’t until he killed his stepfather.
Police also believe a fourth person may have been involved. However, prosecutors won’t say anything about that person other than that one of the teens said the fourth person was at the house, but did not go to Illinois.
Phillip Danner, 49, was found dead Wednesday in the kitchen of a home at 9219 East Doswell in the Enchanted HIlls addition.
According to Sheriff Rocky Goshert, the three juveniles believed to have been involved in the killing fled to Illinois.
Police in Peru, Illinois had responded to a suspicious vehicle report around 3 a.m. and found the boys in the vehicle. Goshert said the youths were at a Wal-Mart trying to exchange change for cash. An employee thought it was odd to see such young people at that time of night and called police.
One juvenile then told officers that Lundy had shot his stepfather and there may have been an argument before the shooting. The early investigation shows Danner was sitting at the kitchen table when he was shot.
Danner's wife, Robin, the mother of the juvenile suspected in shooting Danner, was vacationing in Florida with friends when the shooting happened.
Both Phillip and Robin were members of the Lakeland Eagles 3760 Lodge in Syracuse. Phillip had been the vice president for the past two years.
"He was a great Eagle," Collin Studer, the lodge president, said. "He loved to volunteer and help the club out with activities. He was a good person. I'm devastated by hearing this news."
Studer said he didn't know of any problems between Danner and his stepson.
Pamela Reed lives on the same street as the Danners and her daughter's gone to school with the 15-year-old for the last nine years.
"He's kind of precocious, but he was a good kid and we enjoyed having him around," Reed said.
A hearing on April 29, 2010 is set to determine if the three should be moved to adult court. Indiana law allows for juveniles from 10 years old and above to be waived as adults for murder if jurisdiction is established.
Bond has been denied because they are considered a flight risk.
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