A teen-ager wept in his family's arms after being sentenced Monday to 8½ years in prison for smuggling a duffel bag full of bombs and guns into his high school for a killing spree.
Jeremy Getman, 19, has admitted that he intended to kill when he brought weapons to Southside High School on Valentine's Day but realized he couldn't kill innocent people. He surrendered peacefully after students notified officials that he had passed someone a threatening note.
The teen had faced 56 counts, but instead pleaded guilty to two weapons possession charges and criminal use of a firearm.
Getman, who faced 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges, said he knew what he did was wrong and that he deserved to be punished.
"I truly believed everyone hated me," he said. "I felt confused, alone and desperate. In these past 10 months, I've changed for the better. I know in my heart I am not a killer and I am a better person."
Chemung County Judge Peter Buckley also ordered Getman to pay almost $12,700 in restitution to police and school officials for costs associated with the evacuation of the high school last February.
Public Defender Richard Rich Jr. had sought a five-year sentence, saying his client was the victim of bullying and severe depression and that no one had been hurt.
But the judge rejected the plea for leniency, saying the teen's actions were "extreme, premeditated...very serious and very wrong."
Getman hugged his family and broke down sobbing before leaving the courtroom.
The teen said he learned to make the bombs from information he found on the Internet with materials readily available at his home. He assembled his arsenal whenever his parents weren't home.
By William Kates © MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed