Judge: Teen to get solitary on killing anniversary
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio teenager convicted in a Korean War veteran's killing was ordered to spend the anniversary of the slaying in solitary confinement for as long as he's in prison.
Jordan Legg, 17, was sentenced to life in prison Thursday in the death of 84-year-old Thomas "Shorty" Whitson in Orient, just southwest of Columbus. He won't be eligible for parole for at least 20 years.
Legg pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated murder for his role in the death of Whitson, who was shot to death as he slept in his favorite chair in the living room of his rural home earlier this year.
Authorities say Legg was in a group of five that included Whitson's grandson who killed the farmer because they wanted to sell his guns for drug money.
Pickaway County Common Pleas Judge P. Randall Knece told Legg he should be kept in isolation every March 30 to be alone with the thoughts of what he did, according to The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/WjbD76 ).
Emily Otterbacher from the county crime victims' advocate office said Whitson's family was "ecstatic" about the judge's unusual order.
"They thought it was very fitting because they'll never forget what's been done," she said. "Why should he?"
Legg, who had no relatives or friends in the courtroom, apologized to Whitson's family. He said drugs ruined his life and now he realizes that he ruined others' lives, too.
"I threw away a good life that I had," Legg said.
Whitson's 30-year-old grandson, Shaun Lawson, was convicted last month of aggravated murder and other charges and was sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors said he was the one who shot his grandfather.
Joshua P. Johnson, 20, of Columbus, was sentenced to seven years in state prison after pleading guilty to charges relating to driving the others to Whitson's house that day. A 17-year-old and a 20-year-old have pleaded not guilty to charges that include aggravated murder.