Anthony Hutchens, 16, has been found guilty of the murder and molestation of Grace Ross, 6, in New Carlisle.
The girl’s body was found in a wooded area behind an apartment complex hours after she was reported missing back in March 2021.
It was in May 2022 that the suspect Hutchens petitioned the court to have a bench trial. The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office has consented to that request.
Hutchens was being held at a detention center in Kokomo due to concerns about holding him in adult jail.
The bench trial took place this week. The prosecution called numerous witnesses to testify, including family members, friends, investigators and the doctor that conducted Ross’s autopsy. The court watched a videotaped interview of Hutchens, who told investigators, hours after Ross was found, that a shadowy figure took control of his body and when he awoke, the 6-year-old girl was dead.
Hutchens did not testify in court.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31.
From the St. Joseph County Prosecutors Office:
Today, the Honorable Jeffrey L. Sanford found Anthony Hutchens, 16, of New Carlisle guilty of the March 12, 2021, Murder of Grace Ross, 6, of New Carlisle.
Judge Sanford also found Mr. Hutchens guilty of Child Molesting, a level 3 felony.
The sentencing range for Murder is 45 to 65 years. The sentencing range for a level 3 felony is 3 to 16 years. Sentencing is scheduled for March 31, 2023, in front of Judge Sanford.
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office extends our deepest condolences to the family
and friends of Grace Ross. We would like to thank the investigators with the St. Joseph
County Metro Homicide Unit, New Carlisle Police Department and St. Joseph County
Police Department for their thorough investigation.
I’m fairly certain that once he gets to prison, there are going to be A LOT of “shadowy figures” entering his body, and making him do things he doesn’t want to. And I’m fine with that.
You got that right you can’t rehabilitate people like that and we don’t want them in our society so and you know the rest
“But suppose, as seemed more likely, that he was so crazy that he had
never been aware that he was doing anything wrong? What then?
Well, we shoot mad dogs, don’t we?
Yes, but being crazy that way is a sickness —
I couldn’t see but two possibilities. Either he couldn’t be made well
— in which case he was better dead for his own sake and for the safety of
others — or he could be treated and made sane. In which case (it seemed to
me) if he ever became sane enough for civilized society . . . and thought
over what he had done while he was “sick” — what could be left for him but
suicide? How could he live with himself?
And suppose he escaped before he was cured and did the same thing
again? And maybe again? How do you explain that to bereaved parents? In view
of his record? I couldn’t see but one answer.”
-Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers