No real justice in Roseburg

Shooter gets 10 years, while victim and his family get life sentence:

This is a great article about a real victim in a school shooting. The one who is actually shot. Not these cowards with guns who have delusions that they were wronged somehow…

The gavel came down in the Roseburg courtroom a few weeks ago. Fifteen-year-old Vincent Leodoro will spend the next 10 years in custody for trying to kill 16-year-old Joe Monti at Roseburg High School last February.

Sentence pronounced. Justice done.

Well, no. Not in this society. Not unless you think saddling Joe Monti’s mother, Yvonne Allison, with crushing debt is justice. Yvonne says Joe’s medical bills from the shooting are about $2 million.

Did I mention Yvonne is a single mom who does not work outside the home because she is a full-time caregiver for two disabled sons, whose fathers are dead? Yvonne used to have only one disabled son until Joe was shot four times by an angry high school freshman, who used a semi-automatic pistol with hollow-point bullets.

“He currently has no feeling in his right foot, so he shuffles,” Yvonne says. “He also has many fragments of bullets in his back they were unable to remove.” Joe’s entire life may be affected by the nature of his injuries. “He asked why this happened to him. I said, ‘I’m sorry, Joseph. I don’t know.’ ”

Yvonne was at home on the small ranch outside Roseburg, early Feb. 23. Her oldest son, Eric, 35, owns the ranch and lets Yvonne live there. For years Yvonne has been caregiver for her son Justin, who’s 23.

“He was born with neurofibromatosis,” she says. Sometimes wrongly called the “Elephant Man disease,” it’s an incurable genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow. “His eye was removed when he was 6. By 8 he’d had a craniotomy. . . . He also has brain cancer, but it’s in remission.”

Yvonne is angry that news accounts after the shooting appeared to blame Joe, always mentioning a minor school bus incident he had been involved in. “Joe is not a bully,” she says. (In fact, Vince told police he had not been a victim of bullying.) “But the reports made it sound like this was all Joe’s fault, and it wasn’t in any way. It was the fault of an insecure, immature 14-year-old boy who had access to deadly weapons.”

No matter how many reconstructive surgeries he endures, Joseph will never be the same strong boy he was the morning he was shot. He may never regain feeling in his right foot and be able to walk normally.

And Yvonne cannot imagine how she ever will pay the enormous debt she now owes. She had no medical insurance when Joseph was shot; she could not afford payments. And she had not enrolled the family in the Oregon Health Plan because she was only living in Oregon part-time because Justin’s doctors all are in California.

And that’s only part of the article. I defy someone to tell me that the gunmen in these school shootings are victims.

Leodoro sentenced, gets the max

Roseburg teen gets maximum sentence:

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.

Leodoro found guilty

Teen found guilty of RHS shooting:

A Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge found Vincent Wayne Leodoro guilty of attempted murder this morning.

The ruling came after brief closing statements by the defense and prosecution. Judge Robert Millikan ruled that Leodoro, 15, intentionally tried to kill Joseph Monti, 16, when the youth shot Monti four times in the back Feb. 23 on the Roseburg High School campus.

“I think that Mr. Leodoro intended to kill the victim,” Millikan said, as the teen sat at the defense table, his gaze lowered.

Leodoro was found responsible for attempted murder, first-degree assault and several weapons charges. Millikan said the boy had a strong grasp of weapons mechanics and must have understood the consequences of his action.

Sentencing was scheduled for July 7. Leodoro could end up in custody until the age of 25.

Here was the defense’s argument…

In his defense closing, attorney Bruce Tower said the teen continually denied trying to kill Monti, saying he only meant to hurt him.

So Leodoro shot Monti once, then as Monti lay on the ground Leodoro shot him three more times. Yet he was only trying to “hurt” him? So I guess Jack the Ripper was only trying to “scratch” his victims.

During the interview with Leodoro, Kaney challenged Leodoro’s claim that he only intended to hurt Monti. When the detective asked Leodoro what he’d expect to happen to someone who’s shot, he replied, “Dies, I guess.”

At that point in the interview, Leodoro began to sniffle, his voice wavering.
“I screwed up,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done it.”

Ya think?

Motive revealed in Roseburg trial

Possible motives revealed in RHS shooting trial:

Leodoro told the detective about threats Monti had allegedly made to hurt the younger teen’s family in the days preceding the shooting. Monti made the threats because he thought Leodoro was talking bad about him to some female students, Leodoro claimed.

“When he talked about those threats, he would get a little emotional,” Kaney said.

Outside the courtroom, during a brief recess, Monti denied having ever made such threats.

“I never threatened his family in my life,” he said.

Monti claims he’d heard from another student it was his family that had been threatened by Leodoro.

At one point, Kaney said, Leodoro also said he’d given money to Monti to purchase some marijuana, but never got his hands on the drugs. Kaney said that appeared to exacerbate Leodoro’s animosity toward the other teen.

Leodoro told Kaney in the taped interviews that in general he had not been a victim of bullying at the high school.

All really good reasons to shoot someone. 🙄

More details from the Roseburg trial

RHS shooting trial begins: ‘I felt like I was gonna die’:

Just some more details that weren’t in the last article…

RHS student Leah Sheppard, 16, said she’d met with fellow students, including Monti and Leodoro, in a group in the cafeteria before first period, though she didn’t talk with the suspect.

When the bell rang for first period, Sheppard said she, Monti and fellow student Kristina Sklenar, walked toward class talking and giggling. She was vaguely aware of Leodoro following them.

When she heard the first shot, like every other student who testified, Sheppard said she thought it was a prank, someone setting off firecrackers.

“I heard Joe screaming,” she said. “… I didn’t know he was serious and I just kept walking.”

She continued toward the school’s Main Building, leaving Monti behind. When the final three shots rang out seconds later and panic ensued in the crowded courtyard, Sheppard realized something was terribly wrong.

She instinctively took off running toward the parking lot, where she saw Leodoro. The teen, she said, reached into the pocket of his gray-hooded sweatshirt.

“He showed me the gun,” she said, adding that at that point, “I ran back to Joe.”

A Fremont Middle School student on the same bus as Leodoro that day said she overheard the suspect talking on a cell phone, saying, “I’ll meet you at school with the bullets.”

Sklenar, 17, spoke of a conversation she had with Leodoro a week or two before the shooting.

“(Leodoro) said ‘You better give me a hug because it’s my last day today,’” she testified. “He said ‘I’m going hunting.’”

When Sklenar asked if he meant hunting for animals, Leodoro said “No.”

“I just laughed it off,” Sklenar said. “I didn’t think he meant anything by it.”

I can’t wait to see how the defense will play this off.

Roseburg trial starts

Girl describes Roseburg High shooting at trial:

Apparently, the trial has started in the Roseburg High shooting in Oregon…

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — Joseph Monti unbuttoned his black shirt to reveal for a judge the damage he suffered in a shooting at Roseburg High School in February, and a female student testified that she saw the shooting unfold in the packed courtyard.

Andrea Gingery, 16, said she was a few feet from Monti when she witnessed a boy behind him — Vincent Leodoro — pull a gun.

Monti began screaming and collapsed after the first shot, Gingery said. Within three to four seconds, Leodoro stepped closer and fired three more shots into Monti’s back as he lay on the ground, she said.

The testimony was given Tuesday as the prosecution neared the end of its case against Leodoro, who faces charges that could keep him in a state juvenile prison until he is 25 years old.

Monti, 16, showed the judge the scars from four surgeries that followed the four gunshot wounds. Leodoro, sitting a few feet away, appeared uninterested by the display from his former friend.

Roseburg police Detective Kent Grant testified that a 10-mm handgun was used to shoot Monti, and it has the same diameter bullet as the .40-caliber pistol that is popular among police agencies. Ann Marie Simmons, the deputy district attorney, said the weapon belonged to the boy’s stepfather.

A search of Leodoro’s bedroom yielded dozens of bullets and a research paper on military weapons, sniper tactics and bullet-resistant vests, Douglas County sheriff’s Detective David Bartley testified.

It seems like an open and shut case at this point but these kinds of cases can be very unpredictable. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Insanity motion withdrwan for Roseburg suspect

RHS shooting suspect won’t be evaluated:

This one surprised me…

ROSEBURG — The defense attorney for the teenager accused of shooting a fellow high school student has withdrawn a motion that would have allowed him to argue the teen suffered mentally at the time of the incident.

Attorney Bruce Tower withdrew the motion Tuesday morning before Douglas County Circuit Judge Robert Millikan.

The motion had indicated Tower intended to argue 14-year-old Vincent Leodoro suffered from a mental disease or defect at the time of the Feb. 23 shooting.

Leodoro is accused of shooting 16-year-old Joseph Monti several times on the Roseburg High School campus. He is charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, possession of a weapon in a public building, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.

My guess is they’re either going to reach a plea agreement or they’re going to go with a “bullying” defense.

The trial is still set for June 27th.

Roseburg trial delayed

Leodoro trial moved to June so lawyers can prepare:

The trial for Vincent Leodoro, the gunman in the Roseburg High School shooting in Oregon, has been pushed back until June 27…

Defense attorney Bruce Tower filed a motion recently indicating he intended to prove Leodoro was suffering from a mental disease or defect at the time of the Feb. 23 shooting. Senior Deputy District Attorney Rick Wesenberg told Millikan he would need to schedule Leodoro for an examination at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem as a result of the defense motion, which could not be done before the originally scheduled trial date of April 18.

Ah yes, the old insanity defense. Because it’s worked so many times in the past. That was sarcasm in case you didn’t know.

Roseburg victim goes home

RHS shooting victim home from hospital:

The victim of the Roseburg High School shooting in Oregon, Joseph Monti, has been released from the hospital and is home with his family…

He was struck four times and has since had surgery to remove two bullets and remaining bullet fragments. Family members say Monti has a long road of recovery ahead of him, including reconstructive surgery.

Family members have said they plan to move back to California, where they moved from about two years ago.

News from Roseburg

RHS school shoot motive, details remain under wraps:

Roseburg police investigating the shooting at Roseburg High state they have narrowed down a motive for the shooting of Joseph Monti by Vincent Leodoro. However, they’re remaining tight-lipped for now…

Roseburg police Lt. Pat Moore said this morning details of the motive cannot be released until the prosecuting entities — including the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office and the Douglas County Juvenile Department — agree to do so.

He provided a vague description of a tense relationship between the two Roseburg High School students and their social circle which is believed to have led to the early morning campus shooting.

“There haven’t been any real variations from that,” he said, adding that most rumors police have checked into have been found to be unsubstantiated.

School shooting victim in fair condition after Thursday surgery:

Meanwhile, Joseph Monti underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments near his spine and is said to be in fair condition. He has also lost some feeling and control of his left foot.