TJ Lane, Chardon High School shooter, gives finger to court, wears 'killer' T-shirt at sentencing
Sentenced to 3 life sentences
Tina Kaufmann, newsnet5.com
10:50 AM, Mar 19, 2013
4:28 PM, Mar 19, 2013
CHARDON, Ohio - No remorse was shown from TJ Lane at his sentencing for the murder of three students inside Chardon High School's cafeteria last February.
It began with Lane entering the courtroom where he took off his button-down shirt, revealing a white T-shirt underneath with the word "KILLER" written in black marker.
Then, Lane flipped off the victims' families as he spoke these vile words.
"This hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory. F*** all of you."
Gasps were heard all throughout the courtroom, as grieving families tried to take in what they had just heard.
With each word of sadness expressed by victims' family members, Lane smiled more, nodding in satisfaction of the precious lives he took.
Daniel Parmertor was one of three teens shot and killed by Lane on Feb. 27, 2012 inside Chardon High School's cafeteria.
"That murderer could never have been a fraction of what my baby would be. He is repulsive. He will be forgotten as he rots in prison. I will be glad knowing his existence is controlled by rules and that he's away from society locked in a cage like the animal he is," Parmertor's mother told a grinning Lane. "You don't deserve to be called human. You're a monster."
Nick Walczak was injured during Lane's shooting spree that deadly day and while alive today, remains paralyzed and wheelchair bound.
"Nick is an amazing person. He is strong. He is a survivor," said Nick's mother, Holly. "You're evil. You don't know kind….I hate the pain you caused Nick."
Demetrius Hewlin also died when Lane opened fire that day. Hewlin's father says he misses his son every day and he will never be forgotten.
"On days that my back hurt, he'd put my shoes on for me. He'd come home from school and fix us something to eat."
Also murdered by Lane was Russell King Jr., whose family expressed how much they miss him each day and the thought of what happened to him is still haunting. Another life taken too soon.
After victim impact statements were given, the judge proceeded to sentencing. But not before saying how clear it was that Lane wasn't sorry.
"It's abundantly clear that Lane wasn't impaired, insane or incompetent at the time of the shootings. He planned, prepared for and executed the scheme by himself," the judge explained. "Without remorse, an offender is likely to re-offend. In this case, we would expect (to see remorse). Needless to say, that is lacking. The defendant tried to make a name for himself."
Taking all things into consideration, the judge imposed a sentence of life in prison without parole. Lane then said he would appeal the sentence.
As Lane got up to leave the courtroom, sheriff's deputies grabbed him before he could put his button-down back on. He was cuffed and taken away.
At an impromptu news conference following sentencing, Lane's sister told reporters, "the brother in the courtroom -- and that did this -- was not the brother I knew." She said she still loves Lane and hopes peace and compassion will overcome hate.
Lane's defense attorney wouldn't say if he knew Lane was going to wear the appalling T-shirt, but did say Lane's vulgar statement was "hard to hear."
Prosecutors were next to speak with media. "What (Lane) did today is consistent with what we thought of him all along. We are disgusted by his statement." They also explained motives will be discussed first with victims' families before they're detailed to the media.
A text message sent from Lane to his sister noted a shooting would happen six days before it did, but prosecutors said Lane's sister didn't feel any reason to take the message seriously.
Lane was at Chardon High School waiting for a bus to the alternative school he attended, for students who haven't done well in traditional settings, when he committed the crime, firing 10 shots inside the cafeteria before running out.
Last month, Lane pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault.
The death penalty was never an option for Lane because he was 17 at the time of the shootings.