The 1996 deaths of a teacher and two students at Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake was revisited yesterday in a Grant County courtroom with the re-sentencing of the convicted shooter.
Barry Loukaitis was 14 years old at the time and was originally sentenced to two life terms plus 205 years. But a Supreme Court ruling on juvenile prison terms required he be re-sentenced.
During Wednesday’s hearing a remorseful Loukaitis apologized to the families of students Arnie Fritz, Manuel Vela and teacher Leona Caires.
“None of you should have to go through this. It was because I was stupid and because I was pathetic and because I was weak,” Loukaitis said in a video from the courtroom by KXLY4 News. “All of you are good people and hell is knowing that you have done something to good people and that you can never make it right.”
Victims’ families were also allowed to address Loukaitis during the hearing. The father of Manuel Vela talked to reporters after the hearing.
“That’s the best thing that could have come out of all of this is him saying what we’ve known all along- that he was not a bully, that he was not a bad example that he was first set out to be. My son was a good man,” Vela said.
Loukaitis was re-sentenced to 189 years in prison. He waived his right to appeal stating he wanted his victims to have peace of mind that he would never be freed from custody.