A man who opened fire at an elementary school when he was 14, killing a child, has apologised as he appeared in court to ask a judge to reduce his sentence.
Jesse Osborne, 21, shot and killed six-year-old Jacob Hall at South Carolina’s Townville Elementary in 2016, as well as his father Jeff Osborne.
He received life imprisonment for the murders, and a judge gave him an additional 30 years in prison for the attempted murder of three other victims who were wounded in the attack. His lawyers asked the judge in the case to reconsider the sentence.
During his appearance in court on Monday, Osborne apologised to his family, Hall’s family and to every child who witnessed the incident.
“I would just like to say, sorry to my own family for everything I’ve done. Sorry to the Hall family for everything. Sorry to every kid that was at that playground that day, to every kid who was at that school that day, to every teacher who was at the school that day,” he said, according to FoxCarolina.
It was the first time that he has made such an apology, according to the station.
“I’m going to try to better myself in the Department of Corrections for the rest of my life,” he told the court.
A teacher from the school who spoke at the hearing said students had seen their mental health impacted by the shooting, with some unable to ever return.
Prosecutors told the judge the original sentence should remain in place and that they would have tried for the death penalty if he had been old enough at the time of the shooting.
His original trial was told that Osborne had suffered from an emerging personality disorder when he carried out the shooting.
Osborne’s lawyers want the judge to re-sentence him to 30 years in prison for murder and 15 years for the three attempted murder charges.