Associated Press WriterELMIRA, N.Y. (AP) -- A teen-ager who smuggled guns and bombs into his high school for a planned killing spree was sentenced Monday to 8 1/2 years in prison under a plea deal.
Jeremy Getman, 19, has admitted that he intended to shoot students and teachers and toss bombs into crowds when he brought weapons to Southside High School on Valentine's Day. He said he realized he couldn't kill innocent people. He surrendered peacefully after students notified officials that he had passed someone a threatening note.
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. ... I care for my life."
Getman hugged his family and broke down sobbing before leaving the courtroom.
Getman, who had faced 56 counts, pleaded guilty to three charges under a plea deal: first-degree possession of a dangerous weapon, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Getman 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 over a period of time whenever his parents weren't home.
The judge also ordered Getman to pay almost $12,700 in restitution to the police and school officials for overtime pay and other costs associated with the evacuation of the high school on Feb 14.
Elmira is 75 miles south of Syracuse, near the Pennsylvania state line.