ANDERSON, S.C. -- Jesse Osborne, the 15-year-old accused in the Townville Elementary School shooting that occurred when he was 14, will be tried on the charges as an adult.
Judge Edgar Long made the decision to waive the teenager out of Family Court and up to General Sessions on Friday.
Osborne faces two charges of murder, three charges of attempted murder and five counts of possessing a weapon during a violent crime for the 2016 shooting.
He faces sentences that are likely decades long if he is convicted. If Osborne's case had been kept and tried in Family Court, he would have faced a much lighter sentence if convicted and could've been released at age 21.
Dr. James Ballenger, a forensic psychiatrist who also evaluated Charleston mass-killer Dylann Roof, provided damning testimony late Thursday about his assessment of Osborne.
"In my opinion he should be waived up to General Sessions (adult court) for the protection of the public,” Ballenger said.
Ballenger testified that there are two sides to the teen, that Osborne can appear socially adept but has disturbing characteristics below the surface.
The teen who told investigators that his rabbit was his best friend bragged to Ballenger about how he liked to taunt it, the doctor said. Osborne told the doctor that he liked to shoot at or near dogs to watch them react, and that he enjoyed smashing frogs on concrete.
Ballenger said that as Osborne has seen various psychiatric evaluators, the teen as reported to them seeing "blue people," "people with no faces," and "Scooby Doo and a demon." But Ballenger testified that what Osborne was saying was "not presented in a credible way."
People on both sides of the Anderson County Courthouse cried as Ballenger testified about Osborne's "indifference to his victims." The doctor said that Osborne said he had done 6-year-old Jacob Hall "a favor," by mortally wounding him.
Ballenger, who has been in court all week, testified that he has watched Osborne smile as disturbing details of the case were discussed, "then try to hide it."
Ballenger said that treatment for the teen would be difficult, in part because he shows a lack of remorse. He said that the best thing would be for Osborne to be treated while being kept "under lock and key."
In a videotaped interview that was played in court Monday, Osborne described for investigators events leading up to the Sept. 28, 2016, shooting, describing a difficult home life and saying that he had been bullied at West Oak Middle School in Westminster. He said he got into trouble at the school for bringing a hatchet and a machete. He was taking homeschool courses at the time of the shooting.
Ballenger said that there may have been some bullying of Osborne by others and some "harsh treatment" of him at home, but the doctor stopped short of classifying that as abuse."
Osborne is accused of killing his father, 47-year-old Jeffrey Osborne, then driving to the school about 3 miles away and firing shots on the playground. Two students were shot, a third was hurt, and a first-grade teacher was also shot. Jacob, a first-grader died of his injuries three days later.