ROSEBURG – In an eight-minute hearing during which he said nothing, 15-year-old Vincent Wayne Leo- doro received the maximum sentence Friday for shooting a friend in the back at Roseburg High School in February.
It wasn’t enough, said Yvonne Allison, the mother of the victim, Joe Monti, 16.
Allison said the remorseless boy – who shot her son once and then shot him three more times after he had fallen in the crowded high school courtyard – should be sentenced as an adult for a crime that will affect her son for the rest of his life.
Instead, Leodoro, who was 14 when he shot Monti, will remain in custody of the Oregon Youth Authority until age 25. Although he was convicted of crimes carrying long Measure 11 prison terms for adults – attempted murder and first-degree assault – the law does not apply to offenders younger than 15.
Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Millikan said the law covering juvenile crime aims to punish and also to rehabilitate offenders. While in custody, Leodoro will be enrolled in education and counseling programs addressing his specific personality defects.
Meanwhile, Joesph Monti could have lifelong damage from the shootings. Will he get help for his defects paid for by the state? Remember when prison was for punishing criminals?
And it seems like the “mutual friend” could have been the puppet master, if you will, behind the whole situation…
Evidence in Leodoro’s two-day trial last week indicated the boy acted out of jealousy and fear.
A mutual friend of Monti and Leodoro, who was investigated but not charged, reportedly told both Leodoro and Monti privately that each was threatening to harm the other’s family. Leodoro initially said he shot Monti because he felt he and his family were in danger from Monti’s alleged threats.
Monti, who never attacked Leodoro, said he had heard nothing about the alleged role of the mutual friend until the trial. He said he knew Leodoro and the mutual friend less than a month before he was shot.
Leodoro also told Roseburg police Detective Joseph Kaney that he and the mutual friend were angry with Monti because two girls they hung around with seemed smitten whenever Monti showed up.
In a taped interview with Kaney, Leodoro said, “Every time they see Joe, they follow him. When he’s there, we’re like nothing.”
Allison also called for prosecution of the boys’ mutual friend. Trial testimony indicated the boy learned Leodoro had the gun 15 minutes before the shooting but told no one at school and did not warn Monti.
“I feel he should be as accountable as the person who shot him,” Allison said.
Officials have said the investigation is not over yet.