Teen shoots his father dead before driving to an elementary school and killing a six-year-old boy during recess
Jesse Osborne, 16, aspired to be the most prolific school shooter in American history and once said that he wanted to beat Adam Lanza, referring to the Sandy Hook shooter.
A South Carolina teen could face life in prison after he pleaded guilty to murdering his father and a six-year-old boy on Wednesday.
Jesse Osborne, who aspired to be the most prolific school shooter in American history, was just 14 when he confessed to shooting his father Jeffrey in the head three times at their home in Townville on September 28, 2016. After killing his father, he drove his pickup truck three miles to a local elementary school and opened fire on a group of children who were outside for recess. While three people sustained severe injuries, the youngest victim, six-year-old Jacob Hall, died from a bullet to the leg three days after the incident.
The suspect, now 16, entered a guilty plea Wednesday on two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in Anderson County Court with no plea deal. Osborne deserved to die in jail for his actions, Solicitor David Wagner told the court, Daily Mail reports.
As the Supreme Court allows life without parole for juvenile murder suspects in especially reprehensible cases, Osborne will face a minimum of 30 years behind bars but could receive a life sentence for the nature of his crimes. Next year, an extensive sentencing hearing will be held when the judge will take into consideration the teen's family life, age, and details of the crime.
Speaking to investigators, Osborne confessed that he was angry at his father because he would get drunk frequently and try to fight him and his mother. That said, Jeffery Osborne did have prior convictions for domestic abuse and possessing marijuana and had also declared bankruptcy.
NEW AT 11: The mother of Jacob Hall's girlfriend feels angry, but relieved, after Jesse Osborne admitted to killing Jacob, Osborne's own father, and shooting three others at Townville Elementary in 2016. Hear from her, and see our recap of today's hearing on @wyffnews4 pic.twitter.com/yQlUeE96QL— Joe Ripley (@JripleyWYFF4) December 13, 2018
Osborne also confessed that he had been nicknamed "Little Jesse" because of his small stature and had been bullied a number of times. He wanted to be tried as a minor in the wake of his crimes and had even researched symptoms related to autism and mental illness. But when he talked about hallucinations, psychiatric evaluators determined that he was faking it.
Evaluators agreed with the prosecutor's argument that Osborne's obsession with violence never went away. Psychiatrist James Ballenger testified that he'd seen the 16-year-old crack a smile in court when his acts were brought up. "My observations of him in this courtroom over the last few days have been that he is still 100 percent in that mindset. He's very comfortable," he said.
Osborne discussed desires to kill large numbers of people on social media in the days leading up to the shooting. Just nine days prior to the incident, the eighth-grader wrote in an Instagram group chat, "I HAVE TO BEAT ADAM LANZA," referring to the Sandy Hook shooter. "I think ill probably most likely kill around 50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150," he added.
The year before, West Oak Middle School had suspended Osborne for bringing a hatchet and machete to campus. The suspension allegedly motivated him further to commit the crimes. During the group chat, he also wrote: "The middle school has tons of cops. The elementary school doesn't."