The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Library killer sentenced to life, plus 40 years


Last updated 2/16/2019 at 5:32pm

David Grieder

Nathaniel Jouett was 16 at the time of the Aug. 28, 2017, library shootings.

CLOVIS - For killing two library employees, injuring four other people and terrorizing dozens more at the Clovis-Carver Public Library on Aug. 28, 2017, Nathaniel Jouett was sentenced Friday to two life sentences plus 40 years in prison.

Judge James Hudson announced the decision after taking over two days in recess following emotional testimony in a sentencing hearing that lasted Monday through Wednesday morning in Curry County.

The sentences run concurrent. The earliest he could be eligible for parole would be in 2051.

Jouett, now 18, was 16 at the time of the mass violence for which he pleaded guilty to 30 felony counts last year. Prosecutors asked Monday for 96 years in prison, with the chief deputy district attorney calling it "the harshest thing I've ever asked." Brian Stover emphasized the state's request was about justice, not revenge, for "evil, perpetrated in this community."

Jouett's defense attorney in turn had requested that whatever sentence his client receives be suspended after 20 years in prison, with probation promising additional time behind bars if the teenaged offender hasn't proven himself rehabilitated.

"This is not a story of evil," Stephen Taylor said Wednesday before the judge left for recess. "This is a story of sadness. It's a story of hopelessness and a story of despair."

Jouett addressed the court Wednesday in his first public statement since the shooting, expressing his remorse and apologizing to the numerous victims who delivered impact statements at the start of the week.


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