New Carlisle teen files appeal documents, seeks to be retried as juvenile
Neither Anthony Hutchens nor his lawyers have disputed that the teenager strangled 6-year-old Grace Ross in a wooded area near the apartment complex where both children lived in New Carlisle in March of 2021.
Instead, Anthony’s legal team has maintained that Anthony, who was 14 at the time of the murder, should have been tried as a juvenile, not an adult.
That stance forms the basis of Anthony’s appeal, which he filed Friday.
In it, Anthony says St. Joseph County magistrate Graham Polando erred by waiving Anthony’s case to adult, or superior court. Indiana law says a teen charged with murder shall be moved to adult court “unless it would be in the best interests of the child and of the safety and welfare of the community for the child to remain within the juvenile system.”
The appeal says multiple psychologists examined Anthony and testified that he should stay in a juvenile facility. It also argues the severity of a crime doesn’t necessitate a case moving to adult court.
However, in his order in March of 2022, Polando cited a number of factors in his decision to move Anthony’s case to adult court including the severity of the offense, the fact Anthony washed his clothes after he killed Grace and evidence that suggested Anthony deliberated about the crime.
Anthony is currently being held in a juvenile facility after being found guilty of murder and child molesting in January. When he turns 18, there will be a hearing to determine if he should remain in the juvenile facility until he is 21 or if he should be placed in an adult prison.
The state has not yet filed its response and the case is not yet set for any hearings in the appeals court.
At his trial, Anthony's attorneys did not given an opening argument and only asked a few questions of the prosecution's witnesses. However, in order to appeal aspects of the case, such as the waiver decision, the case needed to go to a trial.