Teen Shooter Sentenced To 25 Years in Prison

Teah Wimberly received the same sentence as her father

Teah Wimberly, the teen who shot and killed her friend at Dillard High School, will spend the next 25 years in prison, a Broward County judge ruled Friday during an emotional sentencing hearing.

A tearful Wimberly read a statement in court, specifically addressing the family of her victim, Amanda Collette. 

"I will never forgive myself for what I have done, and I don't expect you to forgive me," she said. "You have no idea how sorry I truly am."

Wimberly shot and killed Collette outside of the school's computer lab on Nov. 12, 2008. Collette and Wimberly, both sophomores at Dillard, had been friends since elementary school, but had stopped talking.

A year later, Wimberly was convicted of second-degree murder for the act and could have been sentenced to life in prison. Wimberly, 16, will stay in a juvenile detention facility until she is 21, at which point she will be transfered to an adult facility.

Ironically, Wimberly received the same sentence as her father, Jevon Wimberly, who is in prison for second degree murder.

The judge said she could seek parole in 20 years.

The tragic case of school violence made national headlines because of its odd nature and the underlying circumstances behind the murder revealed during the trial.

According to police, Wimberly took a .22-caliber, chrome pistol to school, and when Collette refused to talk to Wimberly and walked away, Wimberly pulled out the gun and shot Collette. Wimberly stated she shot her friend, so "she could feel pain, too."

During trial, defense attorneys claimed the troubled teen had been abandoned by so many people in her life that she couldn't stand to lose her best friend. Attorneys also argued that Wimberly was under a delusion that her and Collette were a couple, which led to the romantic outburst. They called it a moment of insanity, but a jury saw it another way.

Wimberly was raised by her grandparents since her parents split before she was born. 

"I hope that she can get the help that we all know she needs," grandfather John Wimberly said after the sentencing.

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