Life for teenager who massacred family

A US court has sentenced a 16-year-old boy who killed his family to life in prison without parole.

A US court has sentenced a 16-year-old boy who killed his family to life in prison without parole.

William Lembcke, 16, was convicted of four counts of aggravated first-degree murder over the shooting deaths.

The bodies of Robert and Diana Lembcke and their children - Jolene, 18, and Wesley, 11 - were found dumped along a rural road days after the shooting at the family home about 60 miles north of Spokane, Washington.

Lembcke killed them after being caught videotaping his sister in the shower, the court was told.

Lembcke admitted sexually molesting his sister’s body, police testified.

At the court, family members broke down in tears when the verdict was read.

Lembcke showed little emotion during most of the trial but sobbed openly during the sentencing phase.

Deputy Stevens County Prosecutor David Bruneau applauded the verdict and sentence, and criticised defence attempts to portray Lembcke as mentally ill.

‘‘You just hope the jury has the sense to see it for what it really is, and that is a bunch of rubbish,’’ he said.

Defence lawyer Patty St Clair said it was tragic to send a juvenile to an adult prison.

The defence had sought conviction on the lesser charge of second-degree murder, arguing that Lembcke suffered diminished mental capacity at the time of the murders, and that he was a troubled teenager from a dysfunctional family.

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