Teen guns down child during elementary school birthday party


A teen in Columbia, South Carolina was handed down a life sentence after being convicted of murdering his father and then encroaching upon a nearby elementary school and gunning down a first-grader. The shooting took place in the playground with their classmates and teacher all present. The boy, who was 14 at the time of the killings, was told by a judge that he will not have the possibility of parole.

Jesse Osborne was only 14-years-old when he fatally shot his 47-year-old father, Jeffrey Osborne, with a gun his father kept at his bedside. He then stole his father’s truck and drove three miles to the elementary school he once attended in his youth.

Prosecutors say that Osborne then walked onto the playground at Townville Elementary School and shot two boys and a teacher with his father’s handgun, killing 6-year-old Jacob Hall.


While court was in session regarding what sentence to dole out to the now 17-year-old Osborne, Judge Lawton McIntosh said he was worried Jesse Osborne showed little repentance after having killed his father in their Anderson County home, and then making his way to his former school and shooting at the playground at Townville Elementary where a first grade class was celebrating a birthday party.

Many were in attendance at the sentencing to see what would become of the young man that stole the life of a young boy and viciously murdered his own father. His former principal joined the teacher whose class was on the playground that day, the family of the boy who was killed, and even Osborne’s own uncle were there to urge the courts to hand the juvenile a life sentence for the pain he caused that day in 2016.


The courts had even received a letter from an unnamed child that was delivered to the judge regarding the atrocities committed by Osborne: “He killed my second best friend and showed up on my number one BFF’s birthday. I feel very, very, very mad.”

It should be noted that Osborne was sentenced just mere hours after the latest United States school shooting that happened in California, where a gunman had opened fire at a California high school where he killed two students, wounded three others, and then took his own life.

Osborne, now 17, was being tried as an adult and faced a minimum of 30 years after pleading guilty to murder.


The prosecutors involved in the trial had requested a life sentence. This special hearing that took place that was used to determine if life without parole could be applied in this instance is required under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that life sentences for juveniles can’t be mandatory and must be considered on a case by case basis. Clearly, the judge thought this case justified the outcome of the sentencing delivered to Osborne.

Along with testimony about his home life, McIntosh considered evidence about whether Osborne can be rehabilitated over time in prison. This was pondered along with other elements pertaining to the circumstances of the crime and Osborne’s overall maturity at the time the crime was committed.

Prosecutors had painted a haunting portrayal of what they thought of Osborne and his state of mind, detailing that he was obsessed with school shootings and has no regrets about the killings. Prosecutors went to further allege that Osborne continuously lies for his own benefit, saying that he would go so far as to look up symptoms of disorders like autism online and then try to trick the psychiatrist analyzing him.

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Teen guns down child during elementary school birthday party


The defense countered these accusations by saying that psychiatrists have said teens’ brains are still developing and it’s unfair to send him away for life when the person he could become is not fully apparent.

Their case attempted to show a teen who suffered abuse from his father, was bullied at school and isolated himself in what he called a “dungeon”, which was his basement bedroom where he spent all his time after being expelled from middle school for bringing a hatchet on campus.

On that fateful day in September 2016, after killing his father, Osborne crashed his dad’s truck into the school fence and fired at students on the Townville Elementary School playground. When he had shot the young Jacob Hall, the boy was struck in the leg and had eventually bled to death from the wound.

A teacher and two other students suffered minor injuries from the hail of bullets from Osborne’s weapon that day. According to the prosecution, the entire scenario was planned to inflict as much death as possible by the then 14-year-old boy.

There’s no replacing a person once they’ve murdered, the finality of the act has a lasting ripple effect that affects friends and family for years. With this case, and the sentence delivered to the murderer, it can make one consider whether juvenile or not, someone can be rehabilitated once they commit such a heinous act.


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