Sentencing hearing for Townville Elem. School shooter concludes for Wednesday

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ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Testimony started back up on Wednesday for the sentencing hearing for Townville Elementary School shooter Jesse Osborne.

At the end of the hearing, the judge will make a decision on how much time Osborne will spend in jail for the crimes he’s committed.

Last December, Osborne pled guilty to two counts of murder for his father and 6 year old Jacob Hall plus three attempted murder charges.

On the second day of the hearing, the majority of the witnesses from both the defense and state were doctors who testified to the mental state of Jesse Osborne at the time of the shooting as well as present day.

“I’m pessimistic that treatment would really help at this point,” said Dr. James Ballenger.

He was almost gleeful in describing the particulars of why he did the school shooting, according to Ballenger.

Osborne said to Ballenger during one of their visits that killing people is a common way of expressing anger of which Ballenger said what about talking?

Plus, new jail calls between Osborne and his family members were presented as evidence. The calls over the last few months varied from talking about his attempt to escape the detention center as well as not wanting to read the Bible.

His grandparents tell him in the calls that the rest of his life depends on this hearing and he needs to look more like a boy since he was a boy when the shooting happened, not a man.

Over and over, the doctors talked about the ability for Osborne to rehabilitate after his crimes because this is a factor the judge is weighing when it comes to the sentence.

“Do you think he has the possibility of rehabilitation?” Defense Attorney Frank Eppes said.

“I think he does,” said Dr. Ernest Martin who was a witness for the defense.

Eppes asked the same question to the state’s witness Dr. Mark Wagner.

“There are a number of variables that make that impossible to predict, but there’s a possibility, I mean there is always a possibility,” Wagner said.

Ballenger said in his testimony that when he interviewed Osborne in December of 2017 that he asked Osborne how much time he deserved in jail.

“If it was up to me, it would be one day,” Osborne said.

Now with the new charges of attempting to escape the detention center, the minimum time Osborne could spend in jail is 35 years.

The state has called all the witnesses on their list and the defense is preparing to call more to the stand from their side.

Be sure to follow WSPA’s Nicole Ford for the latest on the hearing and read her complete recap of day one of the sentencing hearing.

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