Ex-Postal Worker Gets Life in Prison for Shooting
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) _ A judge sentenced a former postal employee to life in prison Friday for killing four people and critically wounding another during a robbery at a post office.
Christopher Green, 29, pleaded guilty in June to killing two postal workers and two customers during the March 21 holdup in Montclair, a New York City suburb in northern New Jersey.
Prior to being sentenced, Green told the court he was ``deeply ashamed.″
``I’m asking ... my God from this day forth that there be a healing process for everyone involved,″ he said.
Green has said he robbed the post office branch where he once worked of $5,000 because he needed money to pay back rent. He was arrested the next day.
Green was sentenced to consecutive double life terms, which means he will spend the rest of his life in prison. There is no parole in the federal prison system.
Federal prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, saying it would have been difficult under current federal guidelines.
Before sentencing, eight members of the victims’ families and the only survivor of the shooting rose one-by-one to address the court.
Some expressed anger that Green was spared the death penalty.
``I think that they should put a bullet through his head, through his back because that’s where he hurt everyone else,″ said 8-year-old Eric Walensky, son of slain postal worker Stanley Scott Walensky, 41.
``Why did he kill?″ the boy asked. ``He didn’t have to do it.″
The blond-haired youngster broke down in tears. His mother, Cathy Ann Walensky, finished reading his statement. She also has two young daughters.
``We are all suffering pains that will never stop,″ Mrs. Walensky said. She stared at Green and said, ``I hope you, Christopher Green, will burn in hell.″
Postal worker Ernest Spruill, 56, also died in the shooting, along with customers Robert Leslie, 38; and George Lomaga, 59.
David Grossman, who helped identify Green despite being wounded, recalled lying on the post office floor with two bullets in his head.
``He was cool, deliberate and purposeful,″ said Grossman, 45. ``He methodically executed the four men lying beside me. There was no hesitation.″
Spectators wept openly as the family members spoke of their loss. Green’s mother, flanked by family members who filled an entire bench, dabbed her eyes with tissues.
U.S. District Judge Joseph H. offered little comment when he handed down the sentence, telling Green, ``I know the words you have heard here will burn in your memory for the rest of your life.″