Jonesboro Murderer Released
One of the two murderers who killed five-- four students and a teacher-- at a Jonesboro, Arkansas middle school in 1998 will be freed today, and his record now bears no evidence that he ever committed any crime.
He can even buy a gun, since he is not officially a felon.
I guess we should be grateful he was held until his twenty-first birthday. At the time of his sentencing, local authorities speculated that, due to lack of space, he would probably be released when he was 18.
As posted on KATV.com:
"Jonesboro, AR - A 21-year-old Arkansas man will be released from prison after serving time for his role in a school shooting that shocked the nation. The story is one no one in Arkansas forgets.
Back in 1998, 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson and 11-year-old Drew Golden waited in the Westside Middle School yard in Jonesboro during a prank fire alarm and then opened fire on the exiting students.
Thursday, Mitchell Johnson turns 21, and because Arkansas had no laws to impose life sentences on children convicted of murder. He will be set free.
Five people were killed…four of them young girls, and one teacher, Shannon Wright.
(Mitchell Wright, victim’s husband) "I got to the campus and a friend of ours who went to church with us stopped me and told me that Shannon had been shot."
Mitchell Wright says the experience was surreal and recounts having to tell his two-year-old son his mother was killed.
However, on August 11, Wright says the pain of losing his loved one will be renewed with the release of Mitchell Johnson. Johnson's mother says her son is reformed after spending seven years in prison.
She says he's truly sorry for what he's done and has even expressed interest in becoming a minister. However, other victims say it’s not enough.
Johnson's mom says her son will move from Arkansas after his release and likely enroll in college."
Let us all remember Mitchell Johnson's victims. In addition to ten wounded, murdered were:
Natalie Brooks, 11
Paige Ann Herring 12
Stephanie Johnson, 12
Brittheny R. Varner, 11
Shannon Wright, 32, the mother of a 2 1/2-year-old son, died later after surgery for wounds to her chest and abdomen. Students said the teacher stepped in front of a sixth-grader as the shots rang out. The student was not hurt.
Let's hope he remembers them, too. Every minute of every day for the rest of his life.