Ruadh, on the assumption that this truly belongs on the GD board, thank you. I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, and I don’t know who moved it, but moved it was, and here we are.
I have spent some time investigating this case, and I’m shocked in one respect – the LACK of coverage! Getting the SD on this case is like pulling teeth! Almost every word of press coverage has to do with Nate’s age. There is VERY little on the crime itself.
In previous posts on the GQ board, I mis-stated some facts. (OK, my sources weren’t the best…) Apparently, Nate didn’t “find the rifle in an alley.” Testimony varies, but it seems he was “given” or he “traded for” or somehow “bought” the rifle. Also, Nate didn’t, it seems, brag to his “girlfriend” that day that he was going to kill someone. He DID brag to her, but it happened earlier, a day or three – depending on who’s telling the story.
My earlier description of the basic facts is correct though. Nate had the rifle, obtained hollow-point shells for it, practiced with it (for days, I guess, and damn near shot a neighbor kid in the process), declared his wish to kill to his “girlfriend,” and fired the rifle, resulting in a head-shot kill (square through the temple, according to the autopsy) on an 18-year-old man he didn’t even know. Also, my assertion that he had 22 prior run-ins with the law was correct; all occurred within the two years previous to the killing, and a number had involved weapons.
Yes, by all accounts, Nate is somewhat retarded. According to his defense counsel, he was, at age 11, roughly the equivalent intellectually of a 6-year-old child. Defense counsel being what it is, we can safely assume that a correct assessment is that he was equivalent to someone older, perhaps an 8-year-old or a 9-year-old. In any case, the boy wasn’t quite all there.
But he ran. After the shooting, by his own account and by all others, once the shot was fired, Nate ran away.
A thing I hadn’t learned until recently is that Nate bragged about the murder AFTER the fact, claiming to friends that “I got that nigger.” Also, there is argument about the distance the bullet traveled. Some say 180’, some say 200’, some say much farther. Defense counsel claims that the fatal bullet traveled two distinct trajectories – from the barrel of the rifle to a streetlight (or a traffic light) and then to the dead man’s temple.
The distance between the trees Nate CLAIMS to have been shooting at and his victim is not in dispute – 180’, or 60 yards, an easy shot with a .22 rifle. I find it almost hilarious that the defense put an “expert witness” on the stand, a champion skeet/trap shooter, who asserted that Nate couldn’t have made the shot. As a long-time .22 afficionado, I can assure you that a five-year-old child can quite easily hit a target the size of a man’s head at sixty yards with a minimum of training. My own kids have shown the ability to meet and exceed such a standard. (I did NOT use targets that resembled anything like any part of a human while training my boys. But I watched them nail rotten canteloupes one after another.) This “expert witness” is nothing but a paid jerk.
So what are we to think/believe?
Jane seems willing to abandon her liberal views in favor of frying this kid. Is that right?
More comment is requested and welcome!
I don’t know why fortune smiles on some and lets the rest go free…