VIDEO: Marshall Co. High School shooter Gabe Parker sentenced to life in prison

Updated: Jun. 12, 2020 at 5:16 PM CDT
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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. (KFVS) - The teenager, who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing two classmates and wounding more than a dozen others at the Marshall County High School, was sentenced to life in prison.

Gabriel Parker will have the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 20 years in prison.

A Marshall County judge sentenced Parker at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 12 for the January 2018 deadly school shooting.

Victims and their families made statements on Friday afternoon.

Brian and Teresa Cope, parents of Preston Cope, gave statements. Brian Cope said, in part, “the pain I feel, innocence was lost. Our first born was taken from us.”

He went on to say, “I see pure evil, I pray that he [Parker] never gets out of jail.”

The parents of Preston Cope, who died in the shooting, gave statements during the sentencing.
The parents of Preston Cope, who died in the shooting, gave statements during the sentencing.(KFVS)

Jasen and Secret Holt, parents of Bailey Holt, addressed Parker directly.

“It’s unbearable to think about, some days I’m still not able to breathe,” Secret Holt said. “Our lives have forever changed. Life on earth is unimaginable.”

Before reading Parker’s sentence, the judge was emotional.

“There’s no real justice to be had here for any of you,” he said. “We can’t give you your children back...and all of this is representative of a great amount of emotion for two years...and destruction and loss both for Mr. Parker and his family...and for all of you. It’s a waste. There’s nothing we can do to solve it. We can do is make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The number of people allowed in the Marshall County Courtroom during the sentencing was reduced to 1/3 capacity due to COVID-19.

Parker was charged with two counts of murder and 14 counts of assault.

He faced 70 years in prison for the assault charges to run concurrent with a life sentence for the murder charges.

Parker withdrew a previous plea of not guilty and entered a guilty plea during a hearing via Skype on April 28.

According to authorities, at 7:57 a.m. on Tuesday, January 23, the suspect, later identified as 15-year-old Gabriel Parker, entered the school and began shooting with a handgun.

Two students, Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, were killed in the shooting.

Kentucky State Police reported 23 others were hurt. Sixteen suffered gunshot wounds. Seven more were injured in the incident.

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