Jesse Osborne listens to testimony from his grandfather Tommy Osborne at a sentencing hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. The teen, who killed his father and a first-grader at a South Carolina school playground in September 2016, faces a possible sentence range of 30 years to life without parole. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A school shooter who was 14 when he killed a first grader on a school playground in South Carolina after killing his father in their home was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole.

Jesse Osborne targeted Townville Elementary School because he had spent seven years there. Prosecutors, who pushed for the life sentence, said the teen was familiar with the classroom layout and knew there was no police officer on campus.

Osborne crashed his father’s pickup truck into the fence on Sept. 28, 2016 and fired on first graders celebrating a classmate’s birthday. Uneaten cupcakes with the Batman logo were still seen inside police tape hours later.

But Osborne’s lawyers noted he never tried to get inside the school, even though police took 12 minutes to arrive. Osborne had left a video chat open on his cellphone and witnesses said Osborne was pacing outside, crying and saying he was sorry.

Judge Lawton McIntosh handed down the life sentence in Anderson County immediately following several recommendations he mete out the maximum punishment possible. Those seeking life included Osborne’s former principal at Townville, the teacher whose class was on the playground that day, the family of 6-year-old Jacob Hall who was killed, Osborne’s own uncle and a child who escaped the horror. A U.S. Supreme Court decision bans the death penalty for juveniles.

“He killed my second best friend and showed up on my number one BFF’s birthday. I feel very, very, very mad. That is three reasons why he should spend life in prison,” the unnamed child wrote in a letter to the judge.

Osborne was sentenced hours after the latest deadly United States school shooting. Authorities said a student gunman opened fire at Saugus High School in Southern California, killing two students, wounding three others and shooting himself in the head. Investigators haven’t said why the teen attacked his classmates on his 16th birthday.

Osborne, now 17, was being tried as an adult and faced a minimum of 30 years after pleading guilty to two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. This week’s special hearing was required under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that life sentences for juveniles can’t be mandatory and arbitrary.

McIntosh considered evidence including Osborn’s maturity and rehabilitation potential, his home life and the circumstances of the crime.

McIntosh said the murders were heinous and he worried about Osborne’s lack of remorse.

Osborne spoke for less than a minute Thursday, asking the judge for mercy.

“I would just like to say I wished this would have never happened. I don’t exactly know why I did this,” Osborne said. “I just ask you give me hope for the future and get me help because I do need help. I want help.”

Prosecutors said Osborne was obsessed with school shootings. His internet history included searches for “youngest mass murderer" and mass shootings at an Orlando nightclub, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School and Columbine High School in Colorado.

Osborne’s lawyer asked for him to get a chance to live outside prison. They had psychiatrists testify that teens’ brains are still developing and it’s unfair to send him away for life when it’s not fully apparent who Osborne could become.

Their case attempted to show a teen who suffered abuse from his alcoholic father, was bullied at school and isolated himself in what he called a “dungeon” — his basement bedroom where he spent all his time after being expelled from middle school for bringing a hatchet on campus.

Osborne’s grandfather — who found the body of his 47-year-old son Jeffrey Osborne shot three times in the head at nearly the same time his inconsolable grandson called him from Townville Elementary — told the judge he would arrange a trust fund for Jesse Osborne and a family at his church to take care of him if he was released in the 2040s or beyond.

Townville Principal Denise Fredericks said none of the testimony sounded like the boy she knew and loved for seven years.

But she said justice would be a life sentence because those first graders, now fourth graders, carefully watch the fence when they are on the playground and a balloon popping last year ended a school dance in panic and tears. There were 31 in Jacob Hall’s class. She said just 13 remain at the school today.

Meghan Hollingsworth’s class was on the playground that day. Her daughter was in kindergarten at Townville Elementary. Two other students suffered minor injuries and Hollingsworth was wounded in the shoulder. She said she has mostly recovered physically but remains scarred emotionally.

“What used to be a joyful time of the day — recess — has become the most anxious time of the day,” Hollingsworth said in requesting a life sentence.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.

Jesse Osborne smiles while talking with attorney Frank Eppes during a break in the courtroom after testimony from his grandfather Tommy Osborne at a sentencing hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. The teen, who killed a first-grader on the playground of a South Carolina school and his father, faces 30 years to life without parole. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Tommy Osborne, grandfather of Jesse Osborne, hugs his wife Patsy Osborne after testifying domestic abuse in the home of his son Jeff Osborne, during a sentencing hearing for Jesse Osborne at the Anderson County Courthouse, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  Osborne, a teen who killed his father and a first-grader at a South Carolina school playground in September 2016, faces a possible sentence range of 30 years to life without parole. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Dr. Donna Schwartz Maddox testifies during a sentence-related hearing for defendant  Jesse Osborne at the Anderson County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  Osborne, a teen who killed his father and a first-grader at a South Carolina school playground in September 2016, faces a possible sentence range of 30 years to life without parole.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Tiffney Osborne, mother of Jesse Osborne, arrives in the courtroom before testimony during a sentencing hearing for Jesse Osborne, at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  The teen, who killed his father and a first-grader at a South Carolina school playground in September 2016, faces a possible sentence range of 30 years to life without parole. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Richard Shirley, left, Clerk of Court for Anderson County, swears in Tommy Osborne, grandfather of Jesse Osborne, during testimony at a sentencing hearing for Jesse Osborne, at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  The teen, who killed his father and a first-grader at a South Carolina school playground in September 2016, faces a possible sentence range of 30 years to life without parole. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Tommy Osborne, grandfather of Jesse Osborne, wipes tears during testimony of discovering abuse in the home of his son Jeff Osborne, during a sentencing hearing for Jesse Osborne, at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  The teen, who killed his father and a first-grader at a South Carolina school playground in September 2016, faces a possible sentence range of 30 years to life without parole. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Jesse Osborne talks with attorney Frank Eppes during a sentence-related hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  Osborne, a teen who killed his father at home before fatally shooting a first-grader on a South Carolina elementary school playground, is either a traumatized son who can be rehabilitated or a dangerous and pathological liar with no remorse, according to the conflicting testimony of two mental health professionals Wednesday.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Dr. Donna Schwartz Maddox talks about interviews she had with the Osborne family after the Townville Elementary School shooting in September 2016, during testimony at Jesse Osborne's sentencing hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. The teen, who killed a first-grader on the playground of the South Carolina school and his father, faces 30 years to life without parole.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Dr. Donna Schwartz Maddox talks about interviews she had with the Osborne family after the Townville Elementary School shooting in September 2016, during testimony at Jesse Osborne's sentencing hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. The teen, who killed a first-grader on the playground of the South Carolina school and his father, faces 30 years to life without parole.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Jesse Osborne smiles while talking with attorney Frank Eppes during a break in the courtroom after testimony from his grandfather Tommy Osborne at a sentencing hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. The teen, who killed a first-grader on the playground of a South Carolina school and his father, faces 30 years to life without parole. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
CORRECTS DATE TO NOV 13 - Jesse Osborne sits in court during a sentence-related hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 in Anderson, S.C.  An official says Osborne, who is facing 30 years to life in prison for killing a first-grader on a South Carolina school's playground was charged with escape last month. A jail investigator testified Tuesday at  Osborne's sentencing hearing that authorities found a hole in the 17-year-old's cell.  The prosecutors also showed Osborne was planning the 2016 Anderson County shooting. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Ernest Martin testifies  during a sentence-related hearing for defendant Jesse Osborne at the Anderson County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  Osborne, a teen who killed his father at home before fatally shooting a first-grader on a South Carolina elementary school playground, is either a traumatized son who can be rehabilitated or a dangerous and pathological liar with no remorse, according to the conflicting testimony of two mental health professionals Wednesday.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Forensics psychologist Dr. James Ballenger testifies about his three 2017 interviews with defendant Jesse Osborne durin a  sentence-related hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  Osborne, a teen who killed his father at home before fatally shooting a first-grader on a South Carolina elementary school playground, is either a traumatized son who can be rehabilitated or a dangerous and pathological liar with no remorse, according to the conflicting testimony of two mental health professionals Wednesday.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Jesse Osborne, left, looks towards his attorney Frank Eppes during a hearing special hearing before a judge, who will decide the 17-year-old's sentence, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. Osborne pleaded guilty last year to two counts of murder for killing the boy at Townville Elementary School and shooting his father three times in the head so he could steal a pickup truck to get to his old school in September 2016. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Jesse Osborne, right, waits for the afternoon session to begin during a special hearing before a judge, who will decide the 17-year-old's sentence, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. Osborne pleaded guilty last year to two counts of murder for killing the boy at Townville Elementary School and shooting his father three times in the head so he could steal a pickup truck to get to his old school in September 2016. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Clinical psychologist Dr. Albert Gordon Teichner, right, shakes hands with defendant Jesse Osborne after a sentence-related hearing at the Anderson County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  Osborne, a teen who killed his father at home before fatally shooting a first-grader on a South Carolina elementary school playground, is either a traumatized son who can be rehabilitated or a dangerous and pathological liar with no remorse, according to the conflicting testimony of two mental health professionals Wednesday.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Jesse Osborne, left, watches during a special hearing before a judge, who will decide the 17-year-old's sentence, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. Osborne pleaded guilty last year to two counts of murder for killing the boy at Townville Elementary School and shooting his father three times in the head so he could steal a pickup truck to get to his old school in September 2016. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Tiffney Osborne, top, mother of Jesse Osborne, stands near him at the end of a special hearing before a judge, who will decide the 17-year-old's sentence, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. Osborne pleaded guilty last year to two counts of murder for killing the boy at Townville Elementary School and shooting his father three times in the head so he could steal a pickup truck to get to his old school in September 2016. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Jesse Osborne is escorted by Anderson County Sheriff Deputies as he leaves the courtroom, at the end of a special hearing before a judge, who will decide the 17-year-old's sentence, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Anderson, S.C. Osborne pleaded guilty last year to two counts of murder for killing the boy at Townville Elementary School and shooting his father three times in the head so he could steal a pickup truck to get to his old school in September 2016. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)
Clinical psychologist Dr. Albert Gordon Teichner testifies during a sentence-related hearing for defendant  Jesse Osborne at the Anderson County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Anderson, S.C.  Osborne, a teen who killed his father at home before fatally shooting a first-grader on a South Carolina elementary school playground, is either a traumatized son who can be rehabilitated or a dangerous and pathological liar with no remorse, according to the conflicting testimony of two mental health professionals Wednesday.  (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)