An Ohio judge has sentenced the Ohio teen charged with killing three students wounding three others last February, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
T.J. Lane appeared in the courtroom wearing a white T-shirt with the word “KILLER” in capital letters written on it –Ā the same ‘title’ he had emblazoned on his shirt the day of the shootings at Chardon High School.
“Had the court noticed the shirt, the court would have immediately stopped the proceedings, adjourned the court and the court would have ordered the defendant to put on proper attire,” Judge David Fuhry of Geauga County Common Pleas CourtĀ said in a statement released by the court’s bailiff.
He rocked back in his chair as victims’ relatives adressed the court and described the killer and called him “repulsive,” wished him an “extremely slow, tortorous death,” and said he should be locked away “like an animal.”
“The hand that pulls the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory,” Lane’s lawyer said, then the shooter cursed at and raised his middle finger toward the victims’ relatives.
A student wounded in the rampage dismissed the outburst, reports USA Today.
“He said it like a scared little boy and couldn’t talk slow enough that anyone could understand him,” said Nate Mueller, who was nicked in the ear in the shooting.
The mother of victim Daniel Parmertor, 16, called the criminal a “vile coward” and “a pathetic excuse for a human being,” and wished him a slow death full of pain.
“From now on, he will only be a killer,” she said, as Lane’s smile widened. “I want him to feel my anger toward him.”
Holly Walczak also expressed her anger toward the shooter. Her son Nick Walczak, 18, was shot four times and remains paralyzed for the rest of his life.
Before the case was sent to adult court last year, a juvenile court judge ruled that Lane was mentally health to stand trial despite evidence that he suffers from hallucinations, psychosis and fantasies.
Investigators reported that Lane admitted to the shooting but said he didn’t know why he did it. “It was something I chose to do,” Lane told deputies at the time.
In sentencing Lane, Fuhry noted that the shooter had exhibited a lack of compassion, but knew he was doing wrong.
Fuhry described all the details of the shootings in Chardon High’s cafeteria where students were waiting before school as a “merciless rampage. … We haven’t been provided a clear motive or even a murky one.”
According to witnesses, the criminal took a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to the school and fired 10 shots at a group of students in the cafeteria. Daniel Parmertor and Demetrius Hewlin, both 16, and Russell King Jr., 17, were killed.
Lane’s sister, Sadie, who saw with her own eyes how her brother opened fire in Chardon High School’s cafeteria , also spoke on Tuesday, talking to reporters outside of the courthouse after the sentencing.
“The brother in the courtroom and that did this is not the brother I knew,”Ā she said, offering her condolences to victims’ families.
She described the moment when she was told by a police officer who the shooter was last February.
āAlong with other students, I heard the gunshots and screams, ran for my life, ducked under tables, hid in the teachersā lounge, not knowing who the shooter was,ā Sadie Lane said. “When those words hit me, I shook and cried and denied that all this could be true.”
She said she hoped for some good to come from the situation: “It may be hard for some to understand, but I love my brother, and I hope he can touch other lives in a positive way.”