CLOVIS, N.M. — A judge has sentenced Nathaniel Jouett to life in prison plus 40 years in the August 2017 Clovis-Carver Public Library shooting.
The sentence is as follows: one life sentence with the possibility for parole for each of the murders to be served concurrently plus 40 years on the other felony charges to be served concurrently and consecutively. Which means under New Mexico state law, Jouett would be eligible for parole after 30 years on the life sentence, but the additional 40 year sentence would mean he would have to serve at least another 10 years in prison. He will also be required to continue mental health treatment during his sentence and has been given time served for the 536 days he has already been in custody. He also cannot initiate contact with the victims or their families at any point during his time in prison or after parole.
The shooting left two dead and four injured. The two killed, 61-year-old Wanda Walters and 48-year-old Krissie Carter were library employees. The four injured ranged in age from 10 to 53.
Nine Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb, said this wasn't the outcome her team or the victims were hoping for.
"Well we were a little disappointed in the sentencing, in the sense that we wanted more time for the victims in the case, but he did get a very lengthy sentence," said Reeb. "The reality is though, no matter what the sentence is, it's not going to bring back what happened that day."
Jouett, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, initially entered a not guilty plea in September 2017. In October 2018, Jouett signed a plea and disposition agreement pleading guilty to all 30 charges in the indictment against him, including two first-degree murder charges.
Stephen Taylor, assistant public defender, said they are grateful this state of the case is over.
"This case is a tragedy and to say that we are happy or we are not happy about the outcome would not do justice to the many victims that were impacted by Nathaniel’s actions," said Taylor.
On the final day of the sentencing hearing, Jouett apologized to the victims of the shooting.
"To everyone who was at the library on August 28th, I'm sorry," said Jouett. "I want to apologize to Wanda Walters and to Kristen Carter. I want to apologize to everyone who was inside the library. I am absolutely horrified by my actions and I take full responsibility. I deserve to be in prison for what I've done."
Jouett also told Judge James Hudson, "whatever you give me will be fair."
The court room and the community had a mix of emotions following the sentencing. Some even told ABC 7 News that they weren't quite sure how to feel.
"Yes he did ask for a second chance but sometimes our choices that we make, we think they just affect us but they don’t, they affect other people. All the time they affect other people," said Alvira Nunez, a Clovis resident.
Despite the mixed emotions though, Nunez as well as others said they hope the closing of the case can provide some closure.
"I’m hoping this helps closure for the victims of the families and hope for the community," said Nunez.
Jouett has 30 days to file an appeal.