A judge says it’s one of the toughest decisions he’s ever had to make on the bench regarding Clovis Library shooter Nathaniel Jouett. Wednesday, the Honorable James Hudson said he needs a few days to think it all over.
The judge will announce the sentence Friday after hearing two and a half days of testimony. On Wednesday, Jouett spoke, crying as he apologized to everyone he’s hurt.
“I am so sorry I put you through this,” said Jouett. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about each of you, a night I don’t pray for you. I pray you find peace. You start to heal. And Monday some of you gave statements. I want you to know that I heard each of you.”
Jouett killed two people and injured four when he opened fire at the Clovis Carver Public Library in August 2017.
“I am absolutely horrified by my actions and I take full responsibility. I deserve to be in prison for what I’ve done,” said Jouett.
Jouett was 16 years old at the time. The state argued at that age, his brain was developed well enough to understand what he did.
They also question his ability to be rehabilitated and brought up his continued pattern of violence when he doesn’t get his way. Jouett’s attorney kept his comments short, asking the judge for “careful consideration” of the testimony of Jouett’s doctors.
“This is not a story of evil. It’s a story of sadness, hopelessness, and despair,” said Stephen Taylor, Jouett’s defense attorney.
“What we’re seeking is justice, not vengeance. He broke the lives of good men and women,” said Cheif Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover.
Jouett had a lot to say in court, including an offer for the victims and their families.
“If you would like to meet, I am open and I want to help you get through this, help you put as many pieces back together that you can,” said Jouett.
The state is asking for 96 years while the defense is asking for 20.
“I’m not asking for a light sentence. I’m asking for a second chance, your honor. To prove myself to my family, to myself, to the victims in my community,” said Jouett. “This was a terrible act, your honor. Senseless violence and no, I do not have an answer for as to why this happened, but I am not a terrible person.”
The sentencing announcement will be made on Friday at 2 p.m.