The shooter who shot history teacher Carl Wayne Nov 9, Joshua Curtis, was sentenced to 22 years in prison Aug 27 putting an end to the ordeal.
In the beginning of the investigation, Curtis plead guilty and the St. Charles County prosecuting team was confident that the case wasn’t going to trial. Talk of the case officially going to trial started a few months ago, and discussion began on what plea bargain Wayne and the prosecutor were comfortable with.
“It was a very slow negotiation,” Wayne said. “The defense would come back with a sentence, then the prosecutor would come back with a different one, and they’d go back and forth.”
The question of whether the case was going to go to trial caused stress for Wayne and his family. The trial brought up anxieties since it would involve being in the same room with Curtis.
“It was hard especially for my wife to be that close to someone who did such a thing,” Wayne said.
Although the trial is over, the recovery process both mentally and physically is still a work in progress. Even though Wayne’s wound has healed, he still experiences a dull numbness in his shoulder and arm that might never go away. On the mental front, Wayne is trying to find a way to cope. With images and sites that are remnants of the incident around him everyday, Wayne often finds it difficult to keep the shooting out of his head.
“It’s hard not to think back to it with simple things like passing a stranger on the street or being in an isolated area,” Wayne said.
Through it all, Wayne has drawn strength from his wife and his friends at Howell. People have been checking up on him throughout the experience to see how things are going.
“I definitely don’t feel alone in the process,” Wayne said. “It’s a struggle, but I have people there for support.”
Since the shooting, Wayne has gained a new respect for students, faculty, and staff who have experienced some sort of trauma as well.
“There’s staff that come here everyday that are going through things or have had a major trauma in their life and they do it without fanfare,” Wayne said. “I have a great respect for those people that go through things and still find a way to make it through the day.”