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Sentencing today for John Spooner in killing of teenage neighbor

A court gavel
A court gavel

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - John Spooner will be sent to prison Monday, probably for the rest of his life.

A 1:30 p.m. sentencing hearing is set in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, where the 76-year-old Spooner will get a mandatory life prison term for killing his 13-year-old neighbor Darius Simmons in May of last year.

Judge Jeffrey Wagner could set a minimum date for a supervised release – but it would have to be at least 20 years down the road, when Spooner would be 96 if he lives that long.

He was convicted last week of first-degree intentional homicide for killing Simmons over four guns that Spooner accused the teen of stealing.

Spooner tried to claim he was insane at the time, which would have sent him to a mental institution if the jury had agreed. However, the jurors said Spooner knew exactly what he was doing when he shot the teen. That was after a court-appointed psychiatrist said Spooner would have also shot Simmons’ brother – but he chose not to, because it might have endangered others. 

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