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Records: Townville school shooting suspect joked about crime aft - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Records: Townville school shooting suspect joked about crime after arrest

Lt. Barbara Pressley with the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center (Feb. 14, 2018/FOX Carolina) Lt. Barbara Pressley with the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center (Feb. 14, 2018/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The third day of the hearing to determine if a 15-year-old suspect should be tried as an adult in the Townville Elementary School shooting continued Wednesday with more witnesses.

READ MORE: Court releases 46-page transcript of Townville shooting suspect's confession

The next witnesses to take the stand were Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center employees Lt. Barbara Pressley and Ofc. Trista Price.

Pressley testified that although much of the suspect's behavior at the detention center was average in comparison with fellow inmates, he had been involved in several incidents while detained.

According to detention center records released during the hearing, a report was made on Dec. 2, 2016 when the suspect made a joke about the crimes for which he is accused. He is charged with murder after officials say he opened fire on the school playground, killing 6-year-old student Jacob Hall.

READ MORE: 'I want them to be stuck in a corner': FBI details messages sent by Townville shooting suspect

Below is an excerpt from the detention center report:

"Juv is making jokes about his crime. Juv is asking to go to the Townville parade as a special guest. Juv stated that this time he will not bring a gun but fireworks. Juv is making these and other comments about his crime loud enough that others in the dorm can hear him. Juv was asked to go lay down and stop yelling out loud. Juv is refusing to comply."

The suspect's defense attorney asked if these loud remarks could be an attempt to intimidate other detainees out of fear, however Pressley said she didn't believe that was the reason behind the comments.

Dr. Danielle Atkinson, a psychologist who also testified Wednesday, saying he did not show visible signs of remorse after the shooting and failed to understand the seriousness of his actions.

Atkinson said factors like low empathy for others, antisocial behavior, lack of remorse and a pattern of severe behavior indicate the suspect may be difficult to rehabilitate.

Pressley testified that the teen was assaulted in a classroom by other males in the detention center as part of a gang initiation. The suspect was a bystander in the incident and has displayed no indication he is involved in any gang activity.

According to the detention center records, the suspect was also warned for using homophobic slurs against another inmate in January 2016. Records indicate he refused breakfast and medication numerous times, which Pressley said is not abnormal for minors in the detention center.

Price testified about once returning from a break to an incident between the teen suspect and a guard. Reading from the report, Price said the suspect confronted a guard and said, "He did the same thing my daddy did and you see I put him in the [expletive] ground."

He was given 48 hours in his cell for the threat, Pressley said.

Both Pressley and Price testified that the suspect had not been placed on suicide watch or made an attempt to harm himself.

Overall both officers said he was cooperative and interacts with other inmates. The officials aren't aware of the suspect bullying anyone and said he has been rewarded for receiving good grades.

Christel Harris, a teacher at the detention center who is employed by Greenville County Schools, said the suspect is on the honor roll and has had good behavior in the classroom.

He is currently in a wheelchair due to an injury while playing basketball at the facility.

READ MORE: Hearing for Townville shooting suspect enters day 3

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