Charles "Andy" Williams was 15 ten years ago when he walked onto the Santana High School campus with a loaded .22 caliber handgun taken from his father's locked gun cabinet, and opened fire, killing two and wounding 13.
The recent arrival to Santee, by way of Twentynine Palms, and earlier, Maryland, had arrived as a fresh-faced youth. Eventually, it is said he fell in with a crowd that spent their time smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, ditching classes and skateboarding.
Friends who had heard Williams talking about opening fire at school one day (he reportedly said he would "pull a Columbine") learned he wasn't joking.
Now 25 years old, he remains incarcerated in the California state prison system with no prospect for release until he's in his 60s.
After being charged as an adult, Williams, then 15, pleaded guilty to murder on June 20, 2002. He was sentenced two months later to 50-years to life in prison.
At his sentencing, Williams said it was difficult to talk about what he did, in apparent response to bullying at the high school, but sought to apologize at the time.
The product of a marriage that ended when he was five years old, Williams said: "I feel horrible inside for victims, their families and my family. I do wish that I could make it up to the victims, their families and mine... I will live everyday with the horrible memory of March 5... What I did was wrong."
Until age 18, he served his time in a youth offender program before being transferred to adult prison.
Williams now lives at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, a 640-acre facility with some 3,895 inmates, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Web site.
Efforts to appeal his sentence attacked the legality of sentencing someone so young to a lifetime in prison as an adult. The California State Attorney General's office handled a total of six appeals filed by Williams supporters, four to the Court of Appeals and two to the California State Supreme Court. The district court denied his petition in September 2010 and the case is now on appeal to the 9th Circuit, according to the California Attorney General's Office.
According to a spokesman, Williams spends his days like any typical prisoner, rising at 6 a.m. for breakfast, receiving a brown bag lunch and performing work assignments until lights out.
Williams is classified as a Level III inmate, the spokesman said. The security level for such inmates includes individual cells, fenced perimeters and armed coverage, according to the CDCR.
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