An Ohio teenager who shot six students in a high school shooting last year will spend the rest of his life in prison with no opportunity for parole. Thomas “TJ” Lane, 18, smirked throughout the proceedings and tried his very best to adopt the image of a callous killer, taking every opportunity to inflict pain on others.
Though he appeared in court wearing a pale blue dress shirt, Lane unbuttoned it to reveal he had scrawled ‘KILLER’ on the front of the T-shirt he was wearing. It is likely he had got up in the middle of the night to do this. For the victims’ families, the shocking act had another dimension – Lane had written the same thing across the T-shirt he was wearing the day he committed the crime. It was as if he wanted them to re-live the day their loved ones were snatched away. The massively insensitive move shocked the victims’ families, but it also shocked Lane’s own attorney and the judge.
As if this weren’t enough, Lane continued to toy with the audience’s emotions. His only statement, made directly to both his family and the victims’ families who were sitting in the viewing gallery: “The hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory. F— all of you.” He then made an obscene gesture.
Those handling the proceedings have now received nationwide criticism for Lane’s actions – though in this writer’s view, the blame should be placed squarely on Lane. He may want to adopt the image of a sadist, but his actions in the courtroom and on the day of the crime prove that he craved attention as well as delighted in what he did. For him, it wasn’t enough that he was shooting at students, he had to wear a T-shirt saying ‘KILLER’ to make sure everyone knew it was him (incidentally, he was chased away by the school’s American football coach, who has been hailed as a hero for his actions). Undoubtedly, he enjoyed the pain he was inflicting on other people. Smirking while the victims’ families issued their statements and laughing when the sentence was passed was a thin veil, which ultimately revealed Lane as the emotionally underdeveloped and attention seeking criminal he is.
Lane had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault. For this, he was sentenced to three life sentences without the opportunity for parole.
Lane had opened fire in Chardon High School cafeteria on February 27th 2012. Lane shot six students, fatally injuring three of them. The deceased were named as Daniel Parmertor, 16; Demetrius Hewlin, 16; and Russell King Jr., 17.
Lane will now spend the rest of his life in prison, the only place for a criminal who revels in the attention his crimes give him. He will be forgotten.
BY: Matthew Jones