Teenager Faces Murder Charge in Indiana Court: Montez Ellington Jr. to Be Tried as an Adult
In a tragic incident that occurred in July 2021, Montez Ellington Jr., a 17-year-old, is facing serious charges, including murder, in the Vigo Superior Court 6, Indiana. The case took a significant turn when the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that he can be charged as an adult for the crimes that transpired when he was 15 years old. This decision was announced by the Indiana attorney general, sparking debates and discussions about juvenile justice and the consequences of delinquent conduct.
Background of the Incident
The unfortunate incident took place at a gas station in 2021, where Montez Ellington Jr. allegedly fired gunshots into a car, resulting in the death of 15-year-old Chloe Carroll. The attorney general’s office disclosed the details of the shooting and the charges against Ellington. According to news reports, prosecutors believe that Ellington fatally shot Carroll shortly after 12:30 a.m. on July 23, 2021, while she was sitting in the backseat of a vehicle at the Hoosier Pete Mini Mart located at 13th and Popular streets.
The case initially began in July 2022 when Ellington’s trial was moved to adult court. However, the jury trial, which was scheduled for the following January, faced delays as the Court of Appeals’ decision was awaited. The delay further intensified the legal battle, and Ellington’s Terre Haute attorneys appealed the decision to try him as an adult. The pivotal issue that led to the involvement of the Court of Appeals was the transfer of Ellington’s case from a juvenile court to the Vigo Superior Court. The central question revolved around whether the superior court had the jurisdiction to prosecute a person below 18 years of age as an adult.
Charges Against Montez Ellington Jr.
Montez Ellington Jr. is currently facing three criminal charges, with the most severe being the murder count related to Chloe Carroll’s death. In addition to the murder charge, he also faces charges of attempted murder and criminal recklessness in Vigo County.
Legal Dispute and Appeal
The decision to try Montez Ellington Jr. as an adult was met with resistance from his defense team. The debate primarily focused on whether the Vigo superior court had the authority to prosecute someone who was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident. The case’s complexity led to the involvement of the Court of Appeals, which ultimately upheld the decision to charge him as an adult.
Indiana Law Regarding Juvenile Prosecution
Indiana law allows prosecutors to treat juveniles as adults under certain circumstances. In cases involving homicides, manslaughter, and certain drug-related offenses, prosecutors have the discretion to charge juveniles as adults if there is probable cause.
Co-Defendant: Cody Scherb
Another individual involved in the shooting is Cody Scherb, who was also charged as an adult. Scherb pleaded guilty to dangerous possession of a firearm and theft of the firearm that resulted in Chloe Carroll’s tragic death. As a result of his plea, Scherb was placed on six years of probation.
The case of Montez Ellington Jr. is a stark reminder of the complexities of the legal system, especially concerning juvenile justice. The decision to charge him as an adult raises important questions about the intersection of age, responsibility, and accountability in criminal proceedings. As the trial proceeds, it will undoubtedly continue to spark discussions and debates within the legal community and the broader society.
- Q: Can Montez Ellington Jr. be tried as an adult for the alleged crimes he committed at the age of 15?
- A: Yes, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that he can be charged as an adult for the crimes.
- Q: What are the charges against Montez Ellington Jr.?
- A: Montez Ellington Jr. faces three criminal charges, including murder, attempted murder, and criminal recklessness.
- Q: What was the reason for the delay in Montez Ellington Jr.’s trial?
- A: The trial was delayed as it awaited the decision of the Court of Appeals.
- Q: What is the criteria for prosecuting juveniles as adults in Indiana?
- A: Indiana law allows prosecutors to charge juveniles as adults in cases involving homicides, manslaughter, and certain drug offenses, among others.
- Q: What was Cody Scherb’s role in the incident?
- A: Cody Scherb was involved in the shooting and pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and theft of the firearm that caused Chloe Carroll’s death. He received probation as part of his plea agreement.