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School shooter’s case to test life sentence for juveniles

December 26, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina school shooting will soon become a test case for court rulings that require an extensive hearing before juveniles can be sentenced to life without parole.

After Jesse Osborne pleaded guilty to murder earlier this month to killing his father and a first-grader on the Townville Elementary School playground, prosecutors said they would seek a life sentence without parole. Osborne, who turned 14 just 20 days before the September 2016 killings, faces at least 30 years in prison.

Osborne and his lawyers said little at his plea hearing. But defense attorney Frank Eppes promised to fight to ensure the teen leaves prison someday.

A judge will consider factors including Osborne’s age and maturity, the circumstances of the crime, his family and home environment and the possibility of rehabilitation.

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