TJ Lane Gets Life in Prison, Gives Middle Finger
**WARNING: Some of the details in the following story are graphic, and may be considered disturbing by some readers.**
CHARDON, Ohio — T.J. Lane will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing three students and injuring three others on a shooting rampage at Chardon High School.
The 18-year-old received three consecutive life sentences for each aggravated murder charge, without the possibility of parole. He also received an additional 37 years for attempted aggravated murder, felonious assault and gun specification charges.
Throughout the sentencing, Lane appeared to display a complete lack of remorse. He entered the courtroom wearing a blue, button down shirt.
But then he took it off.
Underneath it, his white T-shirt displayed the handwritten word, “killer” — a chilling reminder of his similar attire on the day of the killings.
Then came his statement.
After engaging in a private conversation with his lawyer, Ian Friedman, Lane turned toward the families of the victims and used explicit language, before extending his middle finger.
“This hand that pulled the trigger, that killed your sons, now masturbates to the memory. F**k all of you.”
The entire courtroom went silent, stunned by the vulgarity.
Lane continued to smirk throughout the entire court proceeding, including during emotional impact statements from the victims’ families.
Disgusted by his gestures, Holly Walczak, mother of Nick Walczak, spoke directly to Lane: “You’re really lucky that there are so many police in this room right now.”
Nick Walczak was severely injured during the rampage, leaving him paralyzed.
“Nick is an amazing person. He is strong. He is a survivor. You’re evil. You don’t know kind. I hate you for the pain you’ve caused Nick,” said Holly.
Demetrius Hewlin, 16, was one of the victims Lane targeted in the school cafeteria that day.
A family spokesperson talked of his generosity through organ donation and his love for his family.
Russell King, Jr., 17, also died at the hands of Lane.
His sister described the horrific moments in the hospital after the shooting; specifically, the moment her brother died. Russell gave life to eight people through organ donation, she said.
Russell’s sister refused to say Lane’s name.
“The shooter no longer has a name. He is a monster. Your honor, the defendant deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.”
Daniel Parmertor’s mother says she is forever changed by her son’s death. He was just 16 when he lost his life.
“We were robbed by (Lane). We will never see Danny get married or have children. How dare (Lane) take Danny away from us. I’m in pain every minute of every day. I cry every day.”
Joy Rickers was also injured in the shooting spree. A sixth student was grazed by a bullet.
When the impact statements concluded, Judge David Fuhry talked of Lane’s “tumultuous” upbringing, having been raised by his grandparents as his parents were unfit to care for him.
Fuhry also noted that Lane did “some good things” by pleading guilty to the crimes, enrolling in school and hoping to attend college.
But despite considering the aforementioned factors in the sentencing, Lane showed no remorse and was not insane, Fuhry said.
“He consciously and methodically carried out his plan to kill. Of course he knew what he was doing, as well,” Fuhry said. “The victims of the rampage in no way provoked or incited what he did.”
Fuhry said Lane never provided a motive.
After the sentencing, Lane’s sister spoke outside the courtroom. “The brother in the courtroom, and that did this, was not the brother that I knew,” she said. “Hate will only generate more hate. I hope we can all work with peace and compassion after this.”
Friedman said he was stunned by his client’s statement in court. “It was a difficult statement to hear, and to see its effect on the families.” He would not, however, say if he knew of Lane’s plans to wear the “killer” shirt.
Lastly, prosecutors said while they weren’t shocked by Lane’s behavior in court, they were appalled by it. “What he did today is consistent with what we thought of him all along. We are disgusted.”
Last month, Lane pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault for the deadly shooting on February 27, 2012.
Lane, who was 17 at the time, admitted to the killings immediately, prosecutors said. He was never eligible for the death penalty because of his age at the time of the shootings.
Read more details from court in our blog, below: