No, that headline isn’t using “murderer” in the hyperbolic sense the Left often does to insinuate that environmental or healthcare policies they dislike will kill people. Nor does it even denote political support for actual killing, like abortion or capital punishment. We’re talking about a confirmed, confessed, literal, firsthand murderer.
Colorado’s CBS 4 reports that local voters have just elected to the East Otero School Board in La Junta, Colorado a man named Thomas Seaba, a La Junta’s Wastewater Department worker, former US Marine … and convicted murderer.
Here’s a description of his grisly crime, courtesy of KKTV:
Seaba spent 16 years in a North Carolina prison for murdering a fellow Marine. He told 11 News reporter Adam Uhernik he was initially arrested for first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.
The detective on the case still remembers what happened back in 1997. Col. Worrell, who was a crime scene investigator 20 years ago, says the victim was shot once in the back of the head, and then Seaba returned later and shot him four more times.
“Anyone who shoots someone five times in the head, you know, no doubt it was a cold-blooded killing,” Col. Donnie Worrell said.
And yet, East Otero School District Superintendent Rick Lovato says the district researched the legal criteria for membership on the school board, and determined that “It is not outside of the rights for a person with a felony conviction to run for the office,” with the sole disqualifying exception being a sex crime against a child.
That meant only the will of the voters would keep him from the job, and the voters evidently wound up agreeing with community officials who seem to take Seaba at his word that he’s a changed man who wants to turn his life around. La Junta City Manager Rick Klein, who hired him for the wastewater job, says Seaba is a “good person” who has “do[ne] the time but then spen[t] the rest of [his] life making it right.”
For his part, Seaba describes taking a man and fellow soldier’s life as “a set of horrific mistakes compounding on one another which led to me serving time in prison,” and says he chose to run for office despite his crime because “Community service runs deep in my family,” and “It has ever since I was in the Boy Scouts.”
Personally, the first question running through my mind is not “what is this man doing on a school board”; it’s “what is this man doing on the streets?” The local news reports don’t elaborate on the motives or lead-up to the murder, but the horrific description — particularly returning to the scene to pump more bullets into his victim — are particularly cold-blooded and certainly suggest premeditation.
Yes, it’s true that no human being is beyond redemption, and history is full of people who atoned for horrific acts of evil and went on to do good. However, do “horrific mistakes compounding on one another” sound like the words of a man truly admitting the magnitude of what he did? Or do they sound like attempts to minimize and equivocate?
I know one thing for sure: I know that when I have kids, I’ll thank God we didn’t settle down in La Junta, Colorado.