Forensic psychologists clashed tin their mental evaluations of Jesse Osborne on day two of his sentencing hearing Wednesday in Anderson, South Carolina
The defendant was 14 years old when he shot dead his dad Jeffrey Osborne on Sept 28, 2016
He then drove to Townville Elementary School and fatally shot Jacob Hall, six – Another child and a teacher were also injured in the shooting
The defendant, now 17, faces 30 years to life without parole for the murders
Prosecution expert witness Dr James Ballenger testified that Osborne would not benefit from treatment and should be kept in jail
Ballenger said on several occasions he felt chills when talking to the defendant
Dr Ernest Martin testifying for the defense presented contrary opinion that Osborne didn’t realize the consequences of his actions and could be rehabilitated
Dr Martin said Osborne was traumatized from years of bullying and abuse by his father, was depressed, and showed remorse for the killings
While defendant, tried as an adult has admitted guilt, the sentence is to be determined by Judge Lawton McIntosh, at the end of the special hearing,
Process is required under a US Supreme Court ruling that life sentences for juveniles can’t be mandatory and arbitrary
Insane or merely capricious? Jesse Osborne, 17, faces 30 years to life in prison for killing his own father before shooting dead a six-year-old boy at a South Carolina elementary school in 2016, when he was 14 years old. He has pled guilty tried as an adult, but psychologists differ on his mental evaluation
Jesse Osborne now 17, faces a sentence of 30 years to life without parole for his September 28, 2016 rampage. He had just turned 14 when he killed his 47-year-old father Jeffrey by shooting him three times in their home before driving to Townville Elementary School and opening fire on students who were playing outside.
Six-year-old Jacob Hall was shot in the leg and died three days later. Another student and a teacher were also wounded but survived.
Judge Lawton McIntosh will determine Osborne’s sentence at the end of the special hearing, which is required under a US Supreme Court ruling that life sentences for juveniles can’t be mandatory and arbitrary.
Jesse [left], had just turned 14 when he killed his 47-year-old father Jeffrey Osborne [right], by shooting him three times in their home in South Carolina. Months earlier, the teen allegedly told an officer investigating why he brought a machete to school: ‘I’m going to do Columbine better’
‘He doesn’t feel remorse; he doesn’t feel guilt,’ Ballenger said, noting that those traits are indicators of a conduct disorder.
He said he thinks Osborne may have an antisocial personality disorder, but the defendant is too young to receive that diagnosis definitively.
Ballenger said he was particularly disturbed by Osborne’s response to a deputy investigating why he had brought a hatchet to his middle school several months before the shooting.
Osborne told the officer: ‘I’m going to do Columbine better.’
The deputy told Osborne’s parents that he thought their son was going to kill one of them, Ballenger said.
‘I can’t say that without a shudder going down my spine today,’ he said.
Ballenger said he also was shocked when Osborne recounted pulling wings off crickets so they would be helpless as ants attacked; shooting dogs with a pellet gun, and throwing frogs against concrete.
The psychiatrist said Osborne’s attempt to be polite and helpful during the police interviews was a façade.
He said the teen has told psychiatrists he still daydreams about killing people even though the feelings he got shooting his father and at the children didn’t match what he expected.
In February 2018, Ballenger testified that Osborne should be tried as an adult because the teen had a rare combination of no remorse and no understanding of the consequences of what he did, even once saying he did the first-grader a favor by killing him. He said nothing has changed his mind.
‘I’m even more pessimistic’ now, Ballenger said Wednesday.
More defense experts are likely to testify later in the hearing.
Ahead of the first day of sentencing on Tuesday, authorities revealed that Jesse Osborne seen [photo], during Wednesday’s special hearing, had tried to escape jail just days earlier. The 17-year-old defendant faces 30 years to life without parole for his September 28, 2016 shooting rampage which left two dead, another two injured
Ahead of the first day of sentencing on Tuesday, authorities revealed that Osborne had tried to escape jail just days earlier.
Anderson County jail investigator Nathan Mitchell said a hole was dug near the cell that Osborne and a cellmate shared last month as photos of the hole were shown to the court. Osborne was not able to escape.
Prosecutors seeking life in prison for Osborne also showed a judge thousands of Instagram messages with him planning to shoot up Townville Elementary School in a bid to become America’s most prolific school shooter in September 2016.
His Instagram group, which called itself ‘Project Rainbow,’ debated whether it was better to shoot at an elementary school or middle school, settling on the elementary school because there was no on-campus police officer.
During the hearing on Tuesday, FBI Special Agent Shandal Ewing read social media messages attributed to Osborne.
‘I’ve been planning for two years so I’m definitely ready,’ one of Osborne’s messages reads.
Ewing read another message that Osborne wrote: ‘If you hate school shoot it up. That’s what I’m gonna do.’
In the days leading up to the shooting, Osborne discussed desires to kill large numbers of people in the group.
‘I HAVE TO BEAT ADAM LANZA’, the eighth-grader wrote in an Instagram group chat just nine days prior, referring to the Sandy Hook shooter. ‘I think ill probably most likely kill around 50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150.’
A bouquet of flowers are seen outside Townville Elementary School, in SC where Osborne shot children in the playground. In the days leading up to the shooting, the teen reportedly discussed desires to kill large people in large numbers
14-year-old Jesse Osborne’s shooting rampage in 2016, was believed to have been motivated by his suspension from West Oak Middle School for bringing a hatchet and machete to campus the year before.
Six days before the shooting he told the group chat: ‘The middle school has tons of cops. The elementary school doesn’t.’
Last year, Osborne pleaded guilty as an adult to two counts of murder.
His dad, Jeffery, had convictions for domestic abuse and possessing marijuana. He had also declared bankruptcy. During his confession, Osborne told investigators that he was angry at his father because he would get belligerently drunk and try to physically assault both him and his mother.
Prosecutors and mental health experts believe the teen has been faking his claims of mental health issues.
In December 2018, prosecutors argued that Osborne’s obsession with violence never went away, and the evaluators agreed.
‘My observations of him in this courtroom over the last few days have been that he is still 100 percent in that mind-set,’ Ballenger testified at the time, adding that he’d seen Osborne crack a smile in court when his acts were brought up. ‘He’s very comfortable.’
Jesse who claimed that that he was bullied and had been nicknamed ‘Little Jesse’ because of his small stature expressed the desire to be tried as a minor, even researching symptoms related to autism and mental illness.