The Latest: Tape of confession heard at hearing for teen
ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing whether a teenager is to be tried as an adult in a South Carolina school shooting (all times local):
The tape-recorded confession of a teenager charged with murder in South Carolina was played Monday at a hearing that will determine whether or not he will be tried as an adult.
Authorities say the teenager killed his father in September 2016 and then drove to a nearby school, where he killed a 6-year-old child and wounded two others. The teenager was 14 at the time.
During the hearing, he was heard on the tape saying that he was angry because his father would get drunk and want to fight him.
The teenager was heard on the tape saying that he kissed his bunny, Floppy, and his three dogs after killing his father.
He also said he was thankful that he loaded the wrong ammunition into the gun and that it jammed after every shot.
Lawyers for a teenager charged with murder in a South Carolina school shooting are questioning whether detectives violated his rights before getting him to confess.
The teen’s attorneys say investigators never specifically told the youth that he could have a parent or lawyer present in the interview. During a hearing Monday, the lawyers read from a detective’s statement in an attempt to show that the teen was told: “if you want to talk, we’ll listen. If you don’t, it is what it is.”
Anderson County Sheriff’s detective Tracy Call testified Monday that he thought the teen understood the officers when they said he didn’t have to talk to them.
The teenager was 14 years old at the time of the shooting. The hearing is being held to determine whether he should be tried as a juvenile or as an adult on two counts of murder. He is charged with killing his father, then driving to a school yard and shooting a child to death. Two other people were wounded.
The first police officer to arrive at the scene of a school shooting in South Carolina in September 2016 testified Monday that a firefighter arrived before him and was holding the teenage suspect on the ground.
Anderson County deputy Justin Brown said that he decided to go inside Townville Elementary School to look for a possible second shooter.
Brown’s testimony came during a hearing being held to determine whether the teenager should be tried as an adult on two counts of murder. Authorities say the teenager killed his father at their home and then drove to the school and started shooting. A first grader was killed.
Brown said he found a scene of chaos inside the school.
Brown says the teenager - 14 years old at the time of the alleged crime - was crying and apologizing when he was arrested.
Security at a South Carolina courthouse is tight as a hearing is set to begin on whether to try a teenager charged with murder in a school shooting as an adult.
Anyone entering the Anderson County courthouse on Monday had to have a badge made and deputies checked people off as they entered the courtroom.
Family Court Judge Edgar Long is hearing evidence whether the youth who police say shot and killed his father in September 2016, then drove 3 miles (5 kilometers) to Townville Elementary School and fired on first graders on a playground, killing one, should be tried as an adult. He was 14 at the time.
The judge is restricting who enters the courtroom at the request of the defense, who says the teen defendant gets anxious with too many strangers around.
The hearing is expected to last most of this week.
A hearing starts Monday in South Carolina to determine whether or not a teenager will be tried as an adult in the killing of his father and a 6-year-old child outside a school.
The teenager was 14 in September 2016, when authorities say he fatally shot his 47-year-old father at their home and then drove his father’s pickup to Townville Elementary School. Officials say he rammed the truck into a playground fence while first graders were at recess, and then fired several shots, killing one student and wounding another as well as a teacher.
No possible motive has been given, but witnesses said the teen screamed “I hate my life” as he fired the gun.
The state Supreme Court banned life sentences for juveniles charged with murder in adult court. Several teenagers convicted of murder have received 30- to 40-year sentences.