Life sentence for SC school shooter, 17, who killed 1st-grade student
A South Carolina teen was sentenced on Thursday to life behind bars without parole for murdering his father and a 6-year-old boy.
Jesse Osborne was 14 when he shot and killed his father, Jeffrey, in their home on Sept. 28, 2016. According to a confession he gave following his arrest, Osborne shot his father in the head three times.
Investigators said he then drove his father’s pickup truck three miles to Townville Elementary School in Anderson County, where he opened fire on a group of students playing outside.
Jacob Hall, 6, was shot in the leg and died three days later.
Osborne pleaded for leniency before he was sentenced.
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“I would just like to say I wished this would have never happened. I don’t exactly know why I did this,” Osborne said. “I just ask you give me hope for the future and get me help because I do need help. I want help.”
Judge Lawton McIntosh, The Associated Press reported, handed down the life sentence in Anderson County immediately following several recommendations he give out the maximum punishment possible.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision bans the death penalty for juveniles.
Osborne, now 17, was being tried as an adult and faced a minimum of 30 years after pleading guilty to two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
“He killed my second best friend and showed up on my number one BFF’s birthday. I feel very, very, very mad. That is three reasons why he should spend life in prison,” an unnamed child wrote in a letter to the judge.
The defense’s case attempted to show a teen who suffered abuse from his alcoholic father, was bullied at school and isolated himself in what he called a “dungeon” — his basement bedroom where he spent all his time after being expelled from middle school for bringing a hatchet on campus.
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Prosecutors said Osborne was obsessed with school shootings. His internet history included searches for “youngest mass murderer” and mass shootings at an Orlando nightclub, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School and Columbine High School in Colorado.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.