TAMPA - Most of us first saw Jared Cano as a swaggering and angry teenager bent on carrying out at massacre at Freedom High School.
But as he faced sentencing this week, we saw an older, more contrite young man seeking a second chance.
The judge never gave Cano that chance, sentencing him instead to 15 years in state prison.
Cano's attorney, Norman Cannella, Sr., is appealing the conviction and sentence, claiming Cano's sketched-out plot never constituted a real threat, and that what the prosecutors said were bomb-making materials were harmless.
"Match heads, bobby pins, salt and some fertilizer you can buy at the store. None of it could explode," said Cannella.
Canella also doesn't think the prosecutors or the judge took into account the abuse and neglect Cano reportedly suffered as a young child.
But after the horror at Columbine and the more recent movie theater slaughter in Aurora, Colorado, threats of terror are taken seriously .
On Facebook, ABC Action News viewer Clifton Dodge asked "What if he had gone through with it? We would be talking about a punk who killed himself as well as several kids and teachers."
Others thought the 15-year sentence for someone so young was excessive.
Christine Anderson wrote, "In the perfect world he would be been sentenced to a therapeutic treatment center."
"If we, as a society, give up on our children, then we are really doomed," said child and adolescent psychiatrist, Rahul Mehra.
Mehra understands the potential threat of teens like Jared Cano who fantasize about doing great harm to others. But he believes a long prison sentence makes it harder to salvage the person Jared Cano might have become.
"The sooner those issues are addressed, the better off that adolescent will be. If we wait another ten years to address those, they become imbedded in the psyche of the individual and harder to change."
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