School Shooter Gets Life in Prison
Nov. 21, 1997
COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) _ Two years after he walked into his high school with a rifle and 400 rounds of ammunition and killed a teacher and a student, Jamie Rouse was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The then-high school senior was angry over poor grades, prosecutors said.
Rouse, 19, was found guilty on Thursday of two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in the Nov. 15, 1995 rampage at Richland High School.
He shot teachers Carolyn Foster and Carol Yancey and 14-year-old student Diane Collins. Ms. Foster and Miss Collins died. Ms. Yancey was wounded.
Miss Collins was hit by mistake when Rouse shot at a teacher.
Rouse's lawyers claimed he was a paranoid schizophrenic and was not in control of his actions. But prosecution witnesses disputed that.
Courtroom observers applauded after Rouse was sentenced, while Rouse kept his head down and didn't react as the verdict was read.
``It's such a tragedy for everyone involved,'' said Ms. Yancey, who attended the sentencing. ``Just having it behind me will make it much easier for me to go on with my life.''
Rouse's friend Steven Abbot is serving 40 years on a conviction of criminal responsibility because he knew of the plan and did nothing to stop the shooting.
Rouse's 16-year-old brother, Jeremy, was convicted in 1996 of solicitation to commit murder after trying to persuade classmates to ``finish the job'' his brother started.