Bay to serve 12 years for Landstown plot
Faced a maximum life sentence
Updated: Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011, 11:17 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011, 7:39 AM EST
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Beach teen who plotted a Columbine style attack on Landstown High School was sentenced to 68 years Tuesday, with all but 12 years suspended. Philip Bay has already served 2 years, leaving him 10 years to serve.
19-year-old Philip Bay will remain in juvenile detention until he is 21 years old. At that time, he will be considered an adult and will go to a penitentiary.
A judge handed down the sentence just after noon Tuesday. Judge William O'Brien told those in attendance, "Had this crime been carried out, it without question would have been the most horrific incident ever seen in Virginia Beach, probably in the state of Virginia and maybe even in this country." He added, "My mind is boggled by anyone who could even conceive of something this horrendous."
Bay addressed the judge during the sentencing proceedings and said there was nothing he could say or do to excuse his actions. He added that going to jail may have been the best thing that ever happened to him and said that he was grateful he got a second chance, even though he is in jail.
Jurors found Bay guilty on 18 counts, back in November, including Conspiracy to Attack and Kill at least 30 students, weapons, and other charges.
He faced a maximum life sentence.
After the sentencing, Lisa Bay, Philip's mother, said she thought Judge O'Brien did a fair job with the sentencing, "I know it was a very hard decision for him and of course being his mother I would have liked to have heard something a little bit less, though I'm very pleased with the blending sentencing cause he really does need to get the help that he so deserves – the mental help that he deserves. So, overall I'm pleased with the outcome."
The Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney was not satisfied. Harvey Bryant told WAVY.com he asked for a minimum of 20 years. Bryant then said, "My concern right this minute, is that when I calculated his time, he'll be out in time for his 10th high school reunion. So, I don't know how that makes the class of 2009 at Landstown High School feel."
"I don't think he's reached the level of notoriety which something inside him says he has to achieve he's gotten to the triple A level but he hasn't gotten to the major league level and that's what scares me," said Bryant.
"I was reaching out to the medical community and his school, neighbors, family to help me and unfortunately we did not get the proper diagnosis and the proper help," said Lisa Bay, Philip's mom.
A jury did not buy Bay's insanity defense, but several witnesses testified Wednesday that Bay's demeanor significantly changed after being taken off Prozac and put on another drug.
Bay has never said that he would not have carried out his plan.
"There's no question he hated Landstown High School and the people who went there," said Bryant.
"I can only go by what my heart tells me, and that is my son would not have had the gumption, for lack of better words, gumption to go through with it," said his mother Lisa.
Some parents and students at Landstown High School said they were not satisfied with the 12 year sentence. One father said, "Drunk drivers, you know, they get worse than this kid did and I mean, they had evidence."
A female student said, "He could have killed like 2,000 people. He should be in prison for a long time."