Noblesville Shooting Suspect Will Not Be Tried As An Adult

Jun 5, 2018

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office has formally filed charges against the 13-year-old Noblesville shooting suspect. 

The student faces charges from the May 25 shooting at Noblesville West Middle School, which injured two people – seventh grade teacher Jason Seaman and student Ella Whistler

The prosecutor's office filed a petition to charge the student with a delinquent offense, citing "acts that would be felony or misdemeanor crimes if committed by an adult."

Those charges would be two felony counts of attempted murder, aggravated battery, battery by means of a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm on school property. 

But, according to Indiana law, since the student is younger than 14 and not charged with murder, he cannot be tried as an adult. 

In a statement, the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office said: 

“Under the above-referenced current laws, a child thirteen (13) years of age can only be waived to adult court if the attempt to murder an individual or individuals is actually successful. In this case, due to the heroic and extraordinary efforts of many people, including teachers, a school nurse, the Noblesville Police Department School Resource Officer, and many other first responders and medical providers, thankfully, Jason Seaman and Ella Whistler survived. This blessing results in this matter remaining in the juvenile justice system under our current laws, a result which will, I am sure, be very troubling and unsatisfying for many people.”

Christopher Eskew, the attorney for the student, released a statement asking for patience and privacy during the investigation and judicial process. 

"We understand that the public has unanswered questions at this time," Eskew said. "In the meantime, we ask the public and the media to focus their well wishes and attention on Ella, Mr. Seaman and all those adversely affected by the tragedy." 

The student's initial hearing is set for Monday June 11, with a trial date to be set after that. 

This story has been updated to include comments from the student's attorney.