Day 4 of the hearing to determine whether the Townville school shooting suspect will be tried as an adult was marked with heavy statements. The suspect is accused of shooting his father to death and opening fire on Townville Elementary School students when he was 14-years-old.
The teenager, and accused shooter, has been charged with 2 counts of murder, 3 counts of attempted murder and 5 counts of a weapons charge after investigators said he fatally shot his father before driving to Townville Elementary School's playground and opening fire, killing one student.
The victims were identified by the coroner as 47-year-old Jeffrey Osborne and 6-year-old Jacob Hall.
The Solicitor's Office filed a motion back in October of 2016 to have the suspect tried as an adult in the case. Due to his age, the teen would not be eligible for the death penalty, but could face a sentence of up to life in prison.
On Thursday, during day 4 of testimony in the hearing, Dr. James Ballenger - who also diagnosed convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof - spoke out on his experience speaking with and interviewing the accused Townville shooter.
Ballenger said the teen displayed no signs of psychiatric disorder, and said in court that the accused shooter appeared to be developmentally above average.
Ballenger said the accused shooter showed no signs of Schizophrenia, but did exhibit high risk conduct disorder, and noted that there was nothing wrong with the accused shooter other than mild depression.
In court, Ballenger said the accused shooter talked about the abuse of animals and his love for shooting them with BB guns.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Townville school shooting headlines
Ballenger said the accused shooter exhibited a lack of remorse for the shooting, even laughing and smiling when victim Jacob Hall's autopsy was shown. The accused shooter laughed at Columbine because the number of victims was "low," and on the day before the shooting, was clear about wanting to be famous for being the "youngest shooter," said Ballenger.
According to Ballenger, the accused shooter had an emotional breakdown after shooting his father. He then decided he might as well go kill a lot of people because," he is going to get life anyway," Ballenger recalled.
Ballenger went on to say the accused shooter talked about how shooting people was fun and even said he did the 6-year-old victim a favor by shooting him.
Ballenger said the accused shooter showed an indifference to the victims in the incident, noting that the accused shooter cared "more about his image of being the best shooter than how he is going to be punished."
Dr. Ballenger recommended the suspect be tried as an adult.
Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.