CLOVIS, NM (KFDA) - The sentencing hearing for Nathaniel Jouett, the teen who pleaded guilty to the mass shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in 2017, concluded today with closing statements.
Victims gave emotional statements on Monday, along with other library employees. The daughters of Krissy Carter and Wanda Walters also spoke on how this tragedy has impacted their lives.
Several videos were played for the courtroom, including videos found on Jouett’s phone where he reveals his plans to commit a shooting and a video that his family compiled for the court to express how heartbroken they were for what happened.
Today, both the state and the defense delivered their closing arguments.
A Lieutenant from the Curry County Juvenile Detention Center took the stand and testified that Jouett behaved just like any other kid at the detention center. However, when the state questioned her about incidents where he acted out, the officer said she didn’t recall any of it.
The state then began closing arguments, describing Jouett’s actions as senseless.
“I can think of at least two things more tragic than the incarceration of Nathaniel Jouett, and that is the loss of the life of these two amazing women from our community,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover.
Stover said Jouett a pattern of acting violent when he doesn’t get his way.
“We will hold Nathaniel Jouett accountable for his actions in this case,” he said. “The actions of this young man to inflict that much hurt onto these people, and this community deserves the harshest sentence.”
On the other hand, the defense pleaded the judge to give Jouett a second chance.
“This is not the story of evil,” said Defense Attorney Stephen Taylor. “This is a story of sadness, a story of hopelessness and a story of despair.”
Taylor added that the foundation for rehabilitation has been laid.
“There’s still work to do, but that foundation has been laid and that foundation is critical,” he said.
Jouett then gave a statement himself, apologizing to the court for what he’d done.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about each of you, that I don’t pray for you,” said Jouett. “I pray you find peace, that you start to heal. When some of you gave statements, I want you to know that I heard each of you.”
He continued, saying he takes full responsibility for his actions and that whatever the judge decides will be fair.
“I deserve to be in prison for what I’ve done,” said Jouett. “I’m so sorry I put you through this pain you experienced and you continue to go through on a daily basis.”
He addressed the judge, saying he didn’t understand the magnitude of the situation.
“This was me who did this, but it wasn’t me your honor,” he said. “It was not the real me. I do take full responsibility for this. I see the videos that I made and the library video, and I do not recognize this person. I’m not asking for a life sentence, I’m asking for a second chance your honor to prove myself to my family, to myself, to the victims in my community. This was a terrible act your honor, senseless violence, and no I do not have an answer as to why this happened. But I’m not a terrible person.”
Judge James Hudson said he will announce Jouett’s sentence on Friday, February 15 at 2 p.m. Mountain Time.
“I’ve never seen a judge wait this long, but again this is a large, and important and emotional case,” said 9th Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb. “So I respect the fact that he needs that time to make the proper decision or what he feels is the proper decision. So I guess nothing’s been ordinary in this case.”
Jouett faces a sentence totalling 96 years for the lives of Krissy Carter, Wanda Walters and others affected.
You can watch the full statement from Jouett below: