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Townville Elementary shooter pleads guilty to murder

By Danielle Haynes

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A 16-year-old South Carolina boy pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder for the death of a 6-year-old boy in the Townville Elementary school shooting.

Jesse Osborne, who was 14 at the time of the shooting on Sept. 28, 2016, in Greenville, S.C., pleaded guilty to five charges, including two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

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He was accused of killing his father, Jeffrey Osborne, 47, with a .40-caliber weapon at their home, then driving to Townville Elementary School about 3 miles away and firing shots on the playground. Two boys and a teacher were injured. Jacob Hall, a first-grader, died of his injuries three days later.

In February, a judge ruled Jesse Osborne would be tried as an adult.

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Jesse Osborne has been in prison in Greenville County since the shooting. With the guilty plea, he faces up to two life sentences without parole plus 90 years. He will be sentenced at a future date.

The Dunaway Law Firm, which represents the families of the victims of the shooting, said Jesse Osborne's plea may bring some closure to the families.

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"The emotional and physical injuries inflicted by Jesse upon his fellow students that day will never go away even by his admission here today. However, we can rest assured that he will spend the rest of his days in a cold metal jail cell," a statement from the firm said.

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Frank Eppes, Jesse Osborne's lawyer, said that because his client has always admitted his guilt in the case, there was no reason for a trial. He said the 16-year-old "is glad it's over."

"Still, he's a kid," Eppes said. "He's a child."

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