Trial delayed for teen charged in death of 6-year-old Grace Ross, decision to move case to adult court looms

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 7:11 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A 15-year-old boy accused of molesting and killing 6-year-old Grace Ross of New Carlisle was back in court Monday.

A decision on whether or not the case will be moved from juvenile court to adult court was not made. In order for that to happen, a waiver hearing must be held, which has yet to take place.

Trial for this case was set for this Thursday and Friday. Instead, that has now been delayed.

This comes one week after prosecutors filed a motion to try and have the 15-year-old responsible for the death of the six-year-old to be tried as an adult.

Because of that, the defense says it now must shift its focus to a future waiver hearing that will ultimately decide if the case will move to circuit court.

The defense also expressing concern that all witnesses, including doctors, expected to testify are simply not ready for that hearing.

While the judge called the delay frustrating, St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Fronk says it’s the right decision for both sides at this time.

“I understand that the court has a calendar and wants its cases to move along expeditiously. However, I think that in this particular case you have to do things in a proper order — in all cases really but particularly in this case — you have to do things in the proper order. And the first threshold to get past was the competency and that really did just happened. And once that information is all in hand, then you make the decision about whether you try the case in juvenile court or whether you seek to have it waived to adult court,” Fronk says.

The judge is giving both sides seven days to come together and decide on what dates a waiver hearing could be held.

The expectation is for that hearing to take place in January or February.

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