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11 year prison sentence in Cooperstown shooting
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Cooperstown teen who told the court that he shot a classmate because he was black is going to be spending the next 11 years in prison.
Anthony Pacherille was sentenced Friday morning in Otsego County Court. Friday's sentencing may have brought closure to the case itself, but not the bitter feelings in Cooperstown as a whole.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom by Judge Bryan Burns, but Pacherille, 17, was seen in his striped jail suit being taken away around 10 a.m. Friday morning and placed into an Otsego County Sheriff's van.
Pacherille is heading to state prison for 11 years.
It was on April 2, 2010 when Pacherille got out of his pickup truck right outside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and chased fellow classmate Wesley Lippitt with a rifle.
Pacherille chased Lippitt inside the Cooperstown Police Station, shot at him twice, hitting Lippitt once in the upper arm. Pacherille then turned the gun on himself. Pacherille survived that one shot to his chin in attempt to kill himself.
At Friday's sentencing, Lippitt said he was curled up in a corner and considered himself lucky that a police officer came into the station when the incident occurred.
On Friday, as they have since day one, Pacherille's family claimed the shooting was not over race.
"All I know is that he was being continually bullied at school by Wesley Lippitt and some other people....you know, his friends," said Kathy Pacherille, Anthony's mother. "And I don't think the Lippitts wanted to...they didn't want that to come out. And they placed the race card instead of getting the truth out there. They didn't want it. And we have many many statements from people about the bullying."
Wesley Lippitt spoke after Friday morning's sentencing and says he believes his high school career can continue now without distractions, "I think it can move forward, if the Pacherille family can just let it go, stop with the slanderous websites, and articles they send in to the paper...just let the community cool on it's own. I'm ready to just move forward, have a good senior year, hope my friends have a good senior year, as well. And just hope the best for the future"
Besides the numerous supporters for Wesley Lippitt there were just as many for Anthony Pacherille, many of whom spoke outside the courthouse afterward claiming the shooting was not over race, but rather Pacherille the victim of bullying for years by Wesley Lippitt and his friends.
Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl says there was no evidence of bullying, he believes people just don't want to believe the truth that Pacherille is an admitted racist. He applauded Judge Brian Burns for reading aloud an excerpt from the diary Anthony Pacherille kept. The expert read was from one of the last entries Pacherille made before his attack on Lippitt. It read "I don't ever want to live in this world. "The n-word" and jews will bring down this country, no one sees it coming." He went on to say "I don't want to live in a world where there is not a white majority". Muehl said he feels for both sides in this case, "I think that when you love your son and you don't want to believe that he's that way and when you're friends of the family and you don't want to believe their son is that way, I think it's just a natural human tendancy to just deny it, and I don't think any amount of evidence would change their mind, they don't want to believe it and I just don't think they're going to believe it."
Pacherille must serve 7/8 of that 11 year prison sentence, which comes out to nine and a half years. Since he has already served more than a year, he could be out in about eight years.
There is no word yet on which state prison he is headed to.