WARSAW — For the first time since he was sentenced almost six years ago, at the age of 15, Colt Lundy, now 20, was back in Kosciusko County. This time to request a sentence modification. However, his request was denied. He will continue to serve the remaining term of his sentence.
It was on Sept. 27, 2010, Lundy was sentenced to 30 years at the Indiana Department of Corrections with the final five years suspended, served on probation. He was sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder. Initial charges were murder and aiding or causing the murder of his stepfather Phillip Danner, on April 20, 2010. Lundy served most of his time at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, a minimum/maximum security prison. He was moved in December to the Correctional Industrial Facility, near Pendleton.
According to the DOC his earliest possible release date is May 30, 2022. Because he was sentenced prior to a change in the sentencing law, Lundy is receiving one day credit for each day served along with credit for any programs completed.
The sentence modification request was heard by Kosciusko Superior 1 Judge David Cates who was appointed special judge in the case.
Before denying the modification, Cates expressed his gratitude for the presentation by both sides and the respect of all family and friends in the courtroom during court proceedings. “Mr Lundy, since you were sentenced, from day one, you have appropriately taken advantages of opportunities, I give you credit for that … continue the path in education and programs available. I expect you to do that.”
David Kolbe, who represented Lundy in the original case, continued his representation. Taking the stand was Lundy’s mother, Robin Danner, and his father, Carlos Lundy and Lundy himself. Through testimony of his parents, the court heard he would have a place to live, a job, and support of family and friends. His parents, who visit him once a month, told of the change in their son.
“Colt is very disciplined, very motivated,” said Robin Danner. The widow of the murdered victim said, “Colt made an impulsive decision … was a child … he now fully understands and is remorseful. He is interested in mentoring other juveniles to keep them from making the decision he made.”
His father stated Colt, at 15, was a scared, short, little on the chubby side child, compared to what he is today. “He resisted drugs and gangs in the maximum security prison. He’s proven himself through different programs. His record speaks for itself. He’s earned a chance to be here on his own merits.”
Lundy, who has been behind bars since April 21, 2010, described his life between the ages of 14 and now. “I’ve learned about myself, having nothing but time … I’ve taken every class I could possibly take so when I get out … prepared as possible.” He stated he wanted to know why he did what he did and received help figuring out himself. “I learned that what I did, I didn’t have the capability or intelligence for other alternatives … so many different ways to approach that. I wish I would have (known) I can’t take it back. I can’t apologize enough.”
Lundy said, while he could have appealed his sentence, he felt it would be dishonest because of the agreement he signed. “I felt it was honestly a slap in the face to the judge. It wasn’t deserved.” He wants to help other kids not take the path he took. “I want to keep them from going. Prison is a bad. Horrible place for you.”
He shared experiences at Wabash Correctional Facility — daily fights, hostility, violence, nothing to do unless you take it upon yourself. “It’s been an eye opening experience, a scare factor most kids don’t get … I experience it in full … I would like you and the public and family to know this will never be made up for, what I did …”
Kolbe shared his experiences with Lundy, the goals of justice, the fact that Wabash Correctional Facility is a hard place to do time and “Colt did hard time” spending under 30 percent of his life in prison.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dan Hampton stated the state and Phillip Danner family objected to any sentence modification. He pointed out Judge Rex Reed considered factors when he issued the sentence, and the time reduction under the old statute instead of the new.