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14-year-old charged with murder, child molestation in death of 6-year-old Grace Ross

14-year-old teen charged with murder, child molestation of 6-year-old Grace Ross of New Carlisle.
14-year-old teen charged with murder, child molestation of 6-year-old Grace Ross of New Carlisle.(free to use)
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 7:51 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A 14-year-old suspect appeared in court for the first time since the death of 6-year-old Grace Ross of New Carlisle.

St Joseph County prosecutors filed a petition of delinquency against the suspect charging him with murder, felony murder, and child molestation Monday.

Because the suspect is a juvenile, 16 News Now will refrain from naming the suspect unless the suspect is waived into adult court.

After being asked if the suspect understood the charges, the suspect told Judge Polando that he “doesn’t really understand much of what is going on.” The judge then asked what part he didn’t understand and the suspect replied, “The child molestation part.”

Sitting directly behind the suspect was his family including his mother who left before reporters can ask any questions.

Family members of the victim, 6-year-Grace Ross who was found dead on March 12th, were also in court Monday. Some of them with disbelief in their eyes as the charges were read aloud in court.

Moving forward, the defense attorney representing the suspect in this case has filed a motion to have any and all further proceedings to be closed to the public until physiological evaluations can be conducted on the suspect by both the defense and the state.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Chris Fronk did not oppose or rule in favor of that motion.

According to Judge Polando, he says he will take any and all things presented at Monday’s hearing under advisement before proceeding to next month’s status hearing schedule for April 19th.

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