TOWNVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Locals in Townville said they’re ready to move on three years after a school shooting that killed a six-year-old boy.
Sentencing will begin Tuesday for Jesse Osborne, the teenager who pleaded guilty to killing his father and a first-grader at Townville Elementary School.
As this latest chapter in the tragedy begins to unfold, 7 News went to Townville Monday to speak with folks who tell us they are ready to put this in the past and move on.
It’s been over three years now since Osborne killed his father and then drove to Townville Elementary and opened fire on the playground.
It was a day they’ll never forget but now with sentencing set for the coming days, some said they’ll be glad when it’s over.
Paula Bennett lives in Townville.
“I know some of the teachers up there and that would be a horrible thing to go through and have to go back into the school where it happened and everything,” said Bennett.
When a tragedy like a school shooting happens in a town where everyone seems to know everyone, Bennett said the hurt and pain can be far-reaching.
“It was such a horrendous thing that happened but you know we’ll just be glad when it’s over and everyone ya know can put it past us and go on,” she said.
The town may finally have the opportunity to move on when Osborne is sentenced this week in an Anderson County courthouse.
“Everyone kind of looks at us badly, I think, and the kid kind of gave this community a bad name,” said Bennett.
It was September 28th, 2016 when Osborne, who was 14 at the time, killed his father Jeffrey Osborne at their home.
He then drove three miles to Townville Elementary School in his father’s truck and opened fire on the playground.
Three students and a teacher were hit.
One of the students, 6-year-old Jacob Hall, died of his injuries.
In February 2018, a judge ruled Osborne would be tried as an adult.
That same year in December, Osborne pleaded guilty to the two killings and three other counts of attempted murder.
Now, this week, the sentencing phase begins and the now 17-year-old faces a minimum of 30 years in prison or possibly life behind bars.
“I’ll just be glad for it to move on,” said Bennett.
The sentencing that begins Tuesday could take several days.
South Carolina law requires a judge to hold a special hearing where psychological evaluations, home life, and whether he can be rehabilitated will be considered.