TOWNVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — The teenager convicted of killing a first grader at his Upstate school appeared in court Monday afternoon to ask the judge to shorten his sentence.
Jesse Osborne, who is now 21-years-old, was given a life sentence without parole for the 2016 shooting at Townville Elementary School in Anderson County.
Osborne also pleaded guilty to the murder of his father, Jeffrey Osborne, before opening fire at the elementary school where he shot and killed six-year-old Jacob Hall.
He received an additional 30 years for attempted murder charges, which included teacher
Meghan Hollingsworth and two juvenile students.
Osborne’s attorney, Frank Eppes, asked the judge to consider a sentence between 40 and 55 years. Eppes said Osborne has exhibited good behavior behind bars.
“This crime was horrible,” Eppes said. “This crime was horrific. It was happened 20 days after he turned 14. He was not capable of understanding what he was doing. He did a horrible, horrible thing. He knows he has to pay for it.”
Eppes said Osborne suffered from PTSD at the time of the shooting. He also said a life sentence makes Osborne ineligible from participating in certain programs at the Department of Corrections.
“Give Jesse some hope to live with,” Eppes said. “Give him a chance to better himself as much as possible.”
While in court, Osborne apologized to his family, Hall’s family and every student impacted by the shooting.
“My evil actions hurt their lives and took away two,” Osborne said. “I’m just going to try to better myself at the Department of Corrections for the rest of my life.”
10th Judicial Court Solicitor David Wagner argued that Osborne is not remorseful and has not taken accountability. He said the life sentence should remain.
“The only way to ensure that he never does what he did again is that he never gets out,” Wagner said.
Five witnesses also spoke about why Osborne should serve his life sentence.
“We teach our children that there are consequences for our choices and behaviors,” Meghan Hollingsworth, a Townville Elementary School teacher and shooting victim, said. “Knowing that Jesse was behind bars and would be for life was a small comfort for the children that he would not be able to try and hurt them or their classmates again.”
“Our lives changed forever,” Jeff Bernard added. “We lost our innocence that day. Jesse Osborne took that from us.”
The judge did not make a decision on Osborne’s sentencing Monday. He asked the defense team to submit a supplemental report made by a psychiatrist. That report is expected to detail Osborne’s mental health and what kind of therapy he could benefit from.
The defense has 30 days to submit the report.