It’s been a year since TJ Lane took the lives of three students and injured three others at the Chardon High School in Ohio. Today, he faced the court in front of the judge and the victims’ families as he received his sentence of three life sentences in prison with no chance of parole. Here’s what you should know about the killer and his disgusting outbursts in his final court appearance.
1. He Made an Obscene Masturbation Comment to Victims’ Families
According to the Plain Dealer, TJ Lane cursing and gestured obscenely in front of the victims’ families. Lane was calm during the sentencing, smiling and smirking as the four relatives of victims spoke.
“The hand that pulls the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory,” he said, cursing at and raising his middle finger toward the victims’ relatives.
“Frankly, I wasn’t prepared for this,” the prosecutor said moments after Lane’s profanity. He said that Lane’s actions were proof enough that he is a “disgusting human being.”
2. He Wore a T-Shirt That Said “KILLER”
Lane unbuttoned his blue shirt during the hearing and revealed a T-shirt he was wearing that said “KILLER,” written in black marker. The court acknowledged that this may have been the same T-shirt that Lane wore at the shooting.
3. He Never Gave a Reason for the Murders
Station WAFF reported that after Lane was caught during the shooting, he copped to the crime, saying “I shot people.” However, Lane didn’t give a reason for shooting the students, saying “I don’t know.”
4. He Pleaded Guilty
TJ Lane pleaded guilty on February 26 on three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault. According to Ohio’s News-Herald, Lane made the decision alone after consulting with his attorneys.
5. The Victims’ Families Unleashed Their Emotions
During the sentencing hearing, four of the victims’ relatives spoke out to the court on their reactions to Lane’s life imprisonment. Dina Parmertor, mother of victim Daniel, called Lane a monster and “a pathetic excuse for a human being.” She wished for Lane to have “an extremely, slow torturous death.” Holy Walczak, mother of Nick Walczak who was left paralyzed after the shooting, told Lane that he was lucky that there were police officers in the room. “You can smile all you want. You are evil.”
6. The Killer’s Family Offered Their Condolences
TJ Lane’s sister, Sadie, released a statement in front of the media addressing her thoughts on her brother’s sentencing and offered condolences to the victims’ families. She also expressed her family’s struggle as they take in the aftermath of the shooting. “It may be hard for some to understand, but I love my brother, and hope that wherever the sentence and life takes him in the future that he can touch others’ lives in a positive way from a point of view that only he can give,” she said.
7. He Was “Disturbed” but Intelligent
The judge noted that Lane may have been mentally disturbed during the shooting, but he was described as highly intelligent and was fully aware of what he was doing.
8. He Had a Previous Criminal Record
Records show Lane was arrested twice in December 2009. In the first incident, Lane grabbed his uncle. The second arrest occurred when Lane punched a boy in the face. The News-Herald reported that Lane pleaded to a count of disorderly conduct.
9. TJ Lane’s Father Had a Criminal Past
TJ Lane’s criminal background seems to run in the family as his father, Thomas M. Lane Jr., had a record of his own. In 2002, Lane’s father was confined for a year for attempted murder. He was charged for physically and verbally abusing a woman while three kids were present. The News-Herald added that his arrests included charges of violation of probation, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and drug abuse and possession.
10. Juvenile Court Thought He Wasn’t in His Right Mind
It was earlier shown that Lane may not have been in his right mind during his murder spree. However, Judge David Fuhry said that Lane may have wanted to get his face in the news and gain attention. Forensic psychiatrist Philip Resnick did the psychological evaluation of TJ Lane for the juvenile court. “Some persons who commit mass murder actually expect to die and they may want to die,” Resnick told WKYC News.