Judge rules boy to be tried as adult in death of 6-year-old

March 11, 2022 GMT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A juvenile court judge has ruled that a teenager accused of molesting and fatally strangling a 6-year-old northern Indiana girl last year will be tried as an adult, prosecutors said Friday.

The 15-year-old is charged in the death of 6-year-old Grace Ross of New Carlisle in March 2021.

St. Joseph County Magistrate Graham Polando heard testimony last month on whether the boy should be waived from probate to superior court, where he would be tried as an adult and receive a harsher sentence if convicted.

The boy was previously found psychologically competent to stand trial for the killing in a wooded area near New Carlisle, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Chicago.

According to court documents, the boy, then 14, told police a “shadowy man” controlled him and made him strangle Ross after she followed him into the woods from the nearby apartment complex where she lived.