Friday night, Aug. 20, after deliberating just over six hours, a Ripley County jury found Nickalas Kedrowitz, 17, guilty for the murder of his 11-month-old brother Nathaniel Ritz and 23-month-old sister Desiree McCartney.

Monday, Aug. 16, was the beginning of a long and emotional week for jury members as the first day of the trial State v. Kedrowitz began.
Prosecuting attorney Ric Hertel, who tried the case with deputy prosecutors Ryan Marshall and Rae Lursen,  noted that the jury had a difficult task, given the nature of the case involving the smothering death of an 11-month-old and two-year-old.

The case went through many stages, including hearings to determine Kedrowitz's Competency to Stand Trial and Waiver to Adult Court.
Over the next five days, the jury heard from more than ten witnesses called by the State and two by the defense.

The first witness called by the State regarding the death of 11-month-old Nathaniel Ritz was volunteer firefighter Jason Hooton. Hooton was a first responder on the scene and testified that he sensed something wasn't right and called in law enforcement upon arrival. When asked why he stated something wasn't right, he said he had been dispatched for an unresponsive child at the same home only months before. Visibly showing emotion on the stand, Hooton continued to testify, stating that after entering the house, he went to the master bedroom, where he found Nathaniel unresponsive on his back.

Hertel commented that the two detectives (Brent Miller and Pete Tressler) from the Indiana State Police were involved for the last four years and were instrumental in the jury's decision. 

Kedrowitz now faces a sentence of 45-65 years on each count. The sentencing will take place on Nov. 10, 2021, in Ripley Circuit Court.

Hertel stated that he hopes that the Division of Child Services will take a close look at this case and these deaths and reevaluate their approach/process in the future, given this terrible tragedy.

For complete trial coverage, visit batesville