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16-year-old South Carolina boy pleads guilty in school shooting rampage

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A 16-year-old South Carolina boy pleaded guilty on Wednesday to murder and attempted murder charges stemming from the 2016 slaying of his father and shooting rampage at an elementary school that killed a 6-year-old boy, prosecutors said.

Jesse Osborne, who was 14 at the time of the 2016 attack on Townville Elementary School some 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Greenville, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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Prosecutors said they did not make any deals with Osborne and his guilty plea would not reduce the sentence they are were asking a judge to impose.

“I am seeking the maximum sentence in this case, life without parole, which is the appropriate sentence for the murder of six-year-old Jacob Hall, and the attempted murders of his classmates and teachers,” Tenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor David Wagner said in a statement.

An attorney for Osborne could not be reached by Reuters for comment following the plea hearing in Anderson County Circuit Court. Local media reported that during the hearing Osborne’s attorney said that the plea was in his client’s best interest.

Prosecutors say Osborne killed his father Jeffrey Osborne, 47, at their home in Townville before driving to the school in the family’s pick-up truck and crashing it into a fence.

Osborne then began shooting with a handgun on the school playground until he was tackled by a firefighter, who pinned him down until police arrived, according to prosecutors.

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Student, Jacob Hall, 6, was shot in the leg and died three days after the attack.

The crime rocked the small South Carolina town and also had national implications.

Jacob’s friend, first-grader Ava Olsen, witnessed the shooting and in a letter last year to U.S. President Donald Trump obtained by the Washington Post and local media, told him she was scared and pleaded with him to keep kids safe from guns. Trump replied it was brave of her to share her story, they said.

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Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Harriet McLeod in Charleston, South Carolina; Editing by Lisa Shumaker


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Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate

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The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.

The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.

During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.

Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege

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Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info

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Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.

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Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.

"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.

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