A man who went on a shooting spree at Case Western Reserve University was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday and hesitantly apologized to the family of the graduate student who died.
For 30 minutes in court, Biswanath Halder blamed the university he once attended for forcing him to resort to violence and said the victims were innocent bystanders.
Judge Peggy Foley Jones then prodded him to apologize, noting that the family of victim Norman Wallace was in the courtroom.
His attorney, John Luskin, physically helped turn him toward the audience and Halder said to Wallace’s siblings, “It’s a terrible tragedy and I’m exceptionally sorry.”
One of Wallace’s brothers forgave Halder but another called him worthless, saying “You’re the portrait of what hate can do to a person’s life.”
Halder, 65, who did not testify at his trial, was convicted in December of aggravated murder and numerous other charges for the shootings of three people during a 7 1/2-hour siege in May 2003.
In a jail interview with The Associated Press, Halder blamed the university for a hacker who had wrecked his Web site meant to help business entrepreneurs from his native country, India.
Prosecutors have said they are considering whether to file charges against whoever hacked into Halder’s Web site.
A university spokeswoman issued a statement Friday saying she hopes the sentencing will help the school and the Wallace family heal.
“This is a profoundly sad episode in our university’s history, and we are grateful justice has been served,” said Lara Kalafatis, vice president of university relations.