Inskip school shooter sentenced to 56 years

In February 2010, Mark Foster walked into Inskip Elementary and shot Elisa Luna and Amy Brace.   Thursday Foster spoke on his own behalf, during his sentencing hearing.

Photo Courtesy: Knox County Sheriff's Office

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In February 2010, Mark Foster walked into Inskip Elementary and shot Elisa Luna and Amy Brace. Thursday Foster spoke on his own behalf, during his sentencing hearing.

In October, a judge accepted his guilty plea for Attempted Murder, Employing a Gun during a Dangerous Felony, and Carrying a Gun on School Grounds.

Foster shot the two after learning they were not renewing his contract as a teacher at the school.

The prosecution simply wanted Mark Foster to serve the maximum sentence. It would add up to 64 years, including 25 for each count of attempted murder.

The Prosecutor said, "The court can enhance these sentences, because the crime occurred on the grounds," referencing the fact that he shot them in the Principal's office.

They asked the judge to take into consideration the impact of the shooting, which left Amy Brace with physical and emotional scars, and principal Elisa Luna paralyzed.

"Two women were shot multiple times, and Miss Luna was shot in the back and the spine," the Prosecution described.

The defense wanted a sentence of 51 years, pointing to physical, mental, and sexual abuse throughout Foster's childhood.

They said he felt targeted for being fired, despite being a good teacher. "Mr. Foster has a long history of severe mental illness, severe depression," said Foster's defense attorney.

Foster did speak on his own behalf. "I've asked the Lord for forgiveness, and I hope they can all forgive me," he told the court.

Foster said he tried many times in the past to kill himself and he respects Amy Brace and Elisa Luna professionally.

"I apologize to the victims and the families for the hardships that I caused them. Also, I apologize to Inskip students, staff, and parents," Foster said.

Judge Bob McGee pointed to some of the horrific details of this case in his decision, and the fact that he came into a school office armed.

"He came to execute these people and at least with Miss Luna, after he had her on the ground, he stood over her, according to testimony, and fired right down into her," said Judge McGee.

The Judge decided on the maximum sentence, but the weapons charges are concurrent, so that means he will serve a total of 56 years. That's 50 for the shooting, and 6 for gun.

Foster is eligible for parole after he serves 30-percent of his sentence. That means he could get out in just under 17 years.

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