Noblesville shooting bill blocked; children as young as 12 cannot be tried as adults for attempted murder

Noblesville West Middle School on May 25, 2018 when a student opened fire in a classroom. (WTHR Staff)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A provision that would have allowed children as young as 12 years old to be tried as adults for attempted murder was taken out of a state bill Tuesday.

The bill was originally filed in response to the Noblesville school shooting last May. That suspect was 13 at the time. Indiana law currently only allows juveniles that young to be charged as an adult if they commit murder - not attempted murder.

When this measure was first heard at the Statehouse, both the father of Ella Whistler, who was shot seven times during the Noblesville school shooting, and science teacher Jason Seaman, who tackled the shooter after being shot three times, testified on its behalf.

“From a personal aspect, my pain and suffering will withstand long after the person will have his freedom and ability to be out in the public again,” Seaman told lawmakers at the January hearing.

That bill passed its original committee with unanimous support.

Late Tuesday evening, though, a House-Senate conference committee stripped that part out of HB 1114 before sending it to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk. In its final form, the bill makes various changes to Indiana's criminal code, including new standards for declaring convicts habitual offenders.