Psychologist who interviewed Oxford High School shooter believes he can be rehabilitated

About 40 people are expected to speak during the Oxford High School shooter's sentencing on Friday, each allowed an unlimited amount of time to address the court.

After more than two years of court hearings, mountains of filings, expert assessments, and heartbreaking testimonies, the 17-year-old shooter will learn his prison sentence. A judge has already determined he is eligible for a life sentence without the possibility of parole. 

However, the shooter's fate won't be announced until after every victim is given the opportunity to provide an impact statement. 

Doctor Colin King, a psychologist who testified during the shooter's Miller Hearing in November, argues the shooter does not deserve life in prison. He was a "feral child" who was robbed of the opportunity to mature and grow, King argues.

"This is someone who was socially isolated, neglected, and was not properly groomed to be a normal human being," he said.

King interviewed the shooter six times over the course of 20 hours. The shooter, he believes, hasn't fully grasped the consequences of his actions.

"I don’t think he fully understands the depth and the seriousness of what he did. I think he’s now just coming to grips now understanding the heinousness of his action," said King.

The mental state of the shooter is a primary variable in determining both his sentence during his hearing, and whether his parents are responsible for their son's actions. King argues the punishment should be a term of years - not life in prison.

The minimum sentence he can receive is 25 years.

MORE: Attorneys for Oxford High School shooter argue brain injury before he killed four students

He also believes the shooter has regrets.

"I met with him six times. He has a hard time talking about what he did. He’s not boasting, he’s not arrogant, he’s very contrite," King said. "And I think if he gets a chance to speak. I think you’re probably going to hear some of that."

Judge Kwame Rowe has presided over the shooter's court proceedings since he was first elected to the position. So far, he's determined the shooter should remain in adult jail, as well as the nature of his sentence. 

King gave several hours of testimony during the shooter's Miller hearing. In Rowe's decision, he said he didn't believe the shooter could be rehabilitated.

While the sentencing is scheduled for Friday, it's possible it could extend into next week. 


Oxford High School shooter described as 'feral child' as hearing adjourns until Aug. 18

The Oxford High School shooter's Miller hearing continues Tuesday as a judge decides if he can be sentenced to life without parole.