Jordan Wallick was a 15-year-old thug who took the life of aspiring attorney James Wallmuth III in a botched robbery.
A forensic psychiatrist testifying for the prosecution said the now-17-year-old is "a pleasure-seeking sociopath" with very little conscience who is a poor candidate for treatment.
Dr. Larry Rotenberg of Berks County gave that assessment during a February hearing to determine if the teen would be tried as a juvenile or an adult. If convicted in juvenile court, Wallick would only have been locked up until he turned 21 -- "totally insufficient," according to the doctor.
But Wallick was tried in adult court, convicted in April of second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner on Monday handed down the only possible sentence in Pennsylvania for second-degree murder -- life without parole.
It's hard to argue Wallick doesn't deserve it -- he destroyed countless lives, not just the 28-year-old law student's.
Wallmuth's family tried at the sentencing to express the loss they felt after he was killed, his brother noting he would have graduated from law school this month and his mother describing the special relationship she had with "Jimmy."
Wallmuth, 28, of West Manchester Township, worked in the York County District Attorney's Office for about four years as a case manager, but left his job to attend law school at the University of Pittsburgh. He was back in York to do an internship at a local law firm.
Shortly after 11 p.m. on July 28, 2010, Wallick approached Wallmuth as he was talking on his cell phone and sitting on a bench in Foundry Park, near the corner of Grant Street and West Clarke Avenue.
As Wallmuth was being robbed, he tried to knock the gun out of Wallick's hand and Wallick shot him.
In prison after his arrest, the teen showed no remorse, according to the testimony of other inmates.
"It was a joke. It was a game (to Wallick)," prosecutor Karen Comery said. "And he was bragging about it."
He earned his punishment and society deserves to be protected from violent, anti-social predators like him.
But we've likely not seen the last of Wallick.
His defense attorney says she has "numerous issues to raise" on appeal, including a claim of cruel and unusual punishment because Wallick is still a minor and has now been given life in prison.
In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court in March heard a case in which the defense made the exact same argument.
The brains of those under 18 have not fully developed, and they lack the mental capacity to understand the consequences of their actions, the defense said. Therefore, to condemn them to life in prison, without the possibility of parole after they mature, violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The argument follows successful petitions in the past decade in which the high court banned capital punishment for teens and ruled life without parole for teens convicted of crimes other than homicide is unconstitutional.
It's conceivable some teen killers might change for the better after years, or decades, in prison. Perhaps they deserve a chance to show they can return to society as law-abiding, productive citizens.
Even if the court gives them that chance, it's hard now to imagine Jordan Wallick ever walking free -- or society ever feeling comfortable with the idea.
Testimony during the February hearing revealed Wallick had a difficult life growing up, with a stripper mother who was sexually involved with a member of the criminal Bloods gang.
So there may be adults who share responsibility for what he's become.
But that doesn't mean he should ever get out of prison.