WARSAW — A 14-year-old Milford teen and a 10-year-old Milford youth appeared before Juvenile Court Judge David Cates this afternoon, for an initial juvenile hearing. Both youths, found to be juvenile delinquents, waived their rights to an attorney and admitted to the charges against them. They will appear in court at 10 a.m. Nov. 2, for their disposition hearing.
Their charges stem from various thefts from vehicles throughout Milford, an attempted break-in at Dollar General and a break-in at Milford School. The criminal acts occurred between July 26 and Aug. 17.
The charges against both Milford youth would be felonies if committed by an adult. In juvenile court, there is no jury, but a fact finding hearing, and if admission is made to the charges, the sentencing is a disposition hearing.
A juvenile could be placed on supervised probation, sentenced to the Indiana Department of Corrections Juvenile Division, boys school, juvenile detention and/or ordered to community service.
Chandler McGillem, 14, Milford, was charged with 16 counts of theft and two counts of burglary. While the burglary charges were level 5 felonies, the theft charges were initially class A misdemeanors. But because McGillem had been found guilty and a disposition entered on Dec. 12, 2012, on an unrelated theft charge, an enhancement was added to each theft charge.
A level 5 felony, carries a sentence of one to six years, a class A misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to one year and a level 6 felony carries a term of conviction of one-half year to 2 1/2 years.
The 10-year-old was charged with attempted burglary and attempted theft, a level 5 felony and class A misdemeanor, respectively. Because the 10-year-old does not have a prior juvenile record, Ink Free News will not be releasing his name.
Cates read each of the charges against McGillem and dates of the alleged offenses. He is charged with the attempted burglary and theft on July 26 at Dollar General in Milford; the breaking and entering of Milford Middle School on Aug. 15; a theft at Wawasee High School on Aug. 20; a theft from BP in Warsaw; and thefts from a number of vehicles throughout Milford, including the parking lot at Chore-Time Brock Inc., on such dates as Aug. 12, 14 and 17.
The 10-year-old’s charges relate to the break-in at Milford Middle School.
Cates deviated from the normal wording used at a hearing for the 10-year-old to determine if he understood what he was being asked.
Cates asked the 10-year-old if he knew the difference between the truth and a lie, then asked the child what color was the robe he, the judge, was wearing. The 10-year-old, who was acting like a normal child of his age throughout the hearing — smiling, fidgeting, giggling — couldn’t answer the judge right a way, so he was told it was all right to come up to the bench.
Smiling as he walked up to the judge, he was again asked the color of the robe, and quickly answered black. He was then asked if he was told the robe was yellow was that the truth or a lie. While the 10-year-old first said truth, he quickly changed it to a lie, and when asked which one, stated it was a lie. He was also asked to tell the judge the difference between the truth and a lie. Which he did.
Cates determined that both, McCillem and the 10-year-old understood their rights and there was a basis for their admission, instructed probation to prepare a per-disposition report.
The parents of both juveniles were present in court and advised they could be ordered to participate and pay for services and if they failed to do so, could be found in contempt of court.
A 17-year-old also involved in the case was not charged with crimes, which would be felonies if committed by an adult.