SOUTH BEND, Ind. (TCD) — A judge sentenced a 16-year-old male to 64 years behind bars for killing a young girl in the woods near her home in 2021.
Court records show Anthony Hutchens was sentenced Friday, March 31, to 55 years for murder and nine years for child molesting. He also has a jail credit of 748 days. The South Bend Tribune reports Hutchens will be required to register as a sex offender when he gets out of prison.
Since Hutchens is only 16 years old, he will reportedly remain in a juvenile facility for the next several years. The South Bend Tribune reports Hutchens will have a hearing following his time in the juvenile detention center in order to determine his sentencing in adult prison, if at all.
Judge Jeffrey Sanford found Hutchens guilty Jan. 26 in a bench trial.
Hutchens’ sentencing comes exactly two years after 6-year-old Grace Ross’ death. On March 12, 2021, at about 6:30 p.m., Grace’s family reported her missing from Chapman Street in New Carlisle. She was found that night at 8:25 p.m. in a wooded area nearby. The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit arrived at the scene and began investigating. The autopsy report determined Grace died from homicide by asphyxiation.
According to the South Bend Tribune, Grace also suffered blunt force trauma to her pelvic area.
Investigators arrested Hutchens, who was 14 years old at the time.
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