Boy who killed his dad, kissed pet bunny then drove to school and killed boy, 6, when he was 14 apologizes to victims for first time seven years on, as he asks court to shorten his life sentence
- Jesse Osborne, now 21, apologized to his shooting victims for the first time in seven years during a recent court hearing
- Osborne’s attorneys are now asking a judge to reconsider the shooter’s lifetime sentence as he begs for mercy
- He killed his father and first-grader Jacob Hall during a 2016 shooting at home and an elementary school in Townville, South Carolina
A school shooter who was 14 years old when he killed his father then drove to school and killed a six-year-old boy, apologized for the first time as he begged a judge to lessen his life sentence.
Jesse Osborne, now 21, was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his father, Jeff Osborne, at their home in 2016. He then kissed his rabbit and drove a truck to an elementary school in Townville, South Carolina, where he killed first-grader Jacob Hall.
A judge handed Osborne an additional 30 years in prison for the attempted murder of three other victims who were injured in the school attack.
On Monday, Osborne was in court and expressed remorse for the shooting, apologizing to teachers, students, and his family.
‘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.
Jesse Osborne, who was arrested when he was 14 and sentenced at 15, apologized in court on Monday to the victims of the shooting he carried out seven years ago
Osborne’s attorney asked Judge Lawton McIntosh to reconsider the sentence so that his client may have some hope of freedom in his 50s or 60s.
‘Give Jesse some hope to live with,’ said Frank Eppes, Osborne’s lawyer. He added that the judge hadn’t fully considered a psychologist’s report that Osborne lashed out because of abuse and that he can be rehabilitated.
However, a number of individuals impacted by the shooter’s actions advocated against Osborne ever getting out of prison.
A teacher whose class was in the middle of recess, the parent of a wounded child, the school superintendent who saw a bloodstained class rug, and the elementary school’s principal all spoke against the possibility of eventual parole for the killer.
‘I do wish Jesse a life where he can wake up, breathe, eat, work, be productive — but not outside the walls of a prison,’ said Principal Denise Fredericks, who recognized Osborne from his seven years at the school.
‘In my opinion, his current sentence is still so, so much more merciful than the sentence he gave to Jacob and our school family.’
Hall’s chose not to speak in court, but prosecutors said they are in favor of Osborne never being released from prison.
In 2016, hours after his deadly rampage, Osborne attempted to explain his actions.
‘Last night, my dad was fussing to me and my mom about not getting paid enough for his chicken houses,’ he began.
‘And he was getting up in my face and stuff. And whenever he’s drunk, he always, like, says he wants to fight me… and then my mom will have to step in and get fussed at, too.
‘Last night he was just worse than he has ever been. He was just drinking,’ he said.
The next morning, Jesse, who was homeschooled and accessed lessons online, was trying to work when Jeffrey became angry again.
Jacob Hall was six-years-old when he died of a gunshot wound that Osborne fired in the school shooting
Osborne’s attorneys are fighting for the possibility of parole for their client so that he may be free in his 50s or 60s after he was initially sentenced to life behind bars
After the 14-year-old Osborne fatally shot his abusive father, he kissed his pets goodbye and drove off the the elementary school where he would continue the shooting, killing one and injuring three others
‘He got the paycheck and then, he just went off. I hadn’t finished my math homework and he also got mad about that.
‘So that’s the point where I went into his drawer and loaded his gun,’ he said.
Jeffrey then left the house to go to the tax office, the teenager said. When his father returned, he opened fire.
The teenager told police he was comfortable with the weapon because his parents had allowed him to use it before.
‘I have shot every gun in the house, with my parents,’ he said.
After loading the .40 semi-automatic with the wrong, ‘cheap’ ammo, Jesse said he went to find Jeffrey to kill him.
The man had his paycheck in his hands at the time.
‘He was reading his bill in his chair. I went in there and shot him three times,’ Osborne said.
The teen then ‘immediately ran downstairs’ to say goodbye to his pets.
‘I gave my rabbit a kiss, went back up, gave all the dogs kisses, and then went in his truck and drove to the school,’ he said. He said his rabbit was his ‘best friend’ and that he loved animals ‘because they can’t emotionally hurt you.’
Despite opening fire on teachers and staff, Jesse said he did not mean to kill six-year-old Hall and was unaware that anyone was seriously hurt when he gave his interview to police.
‘Once I got to the school. I shot one round at a teacher. And then it jammed. and then I shot again. And it jammed again every time. And I thank God for that. Please say no one died. Did anyone die?’ he asked after the episode.
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