Suspect pleads guilty in death of 8-year-old - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Suspect pleads guilty in death of 8-year-old

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The man accused of firing an assault weapon into an apartment and killing eight-year-old Bryce Linebaugh plead guilty just days before he was set to go on trial.

Sadly, this is yet another case where an SKS assault weapon was used to kill a child.

It was in August when eight-year-old Bryce Linebaugh was murdered. Bullets from the weapon penetrated the walls of his home, killing him as he innocently slept in his bed.

Twenty-one-year-old Shawn Wilson of Youngstown faced the death penalty if convicted of the murder of eight-year-old Bryce Linebaugh. But just days before the defendant's scheduled trial, Wilson agreed to take responsibility for the crime and plead guilty to the murder and avoiding the death penalty.

Wilson wiped tears from his eyes and apologized to the victim's mother.

"I would like to say that I apologize for any disruptions to anyone. I want to apologize to her because it hurt me seeing her like this. Because all I see in my head is my mother crying and my mother not having the life she was supposed to have," Wilson said.

Jessica Linebaugh, the mother of the eight-year-old murder victim, cried uncontrollably as she addressed the court.

Through her tears she had strong words for the defendant saying, "This man does not deserve to breathe the same air the rest of us breathe. He took my baby from me. Your child is supposed to be the safest in their bed," Linebaugh said.

Prosecutors say if the case would have gone to trial the evidence was strong, but there was some concern that a jury may have been influenced by the recent events in Newtown, Connecticut where other children were killed by a high-powered weapon.

"Considering Sandy Hook just happened, that was part of our concern getting some jurors that could set aside that fact and just listen to the facts and the evidence in this case too," said Dawn Cantalamessa, Mahoning County Assistant Prosecutor.

Wilson was sentenced by Judge R. Scott Krichbaum to life in prison with no chance of parole.

As for the victim's mother, Wilson's actions have sentenced her to a lifetime of wondering what could have been with her son.

 

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