A New Jersey man who shot and killed four family members with a semi-automatic rifle in a New Year’s Eve massacre was sentenced Thursday to 150 years in prison.
Scott Kologi, 20, was hit with the sentence after he was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder, among other charges, earlier this year, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
On December 31, 2017, less than an hour before the new year, Kologi, then 16, shot and killed his mother, father, sister and a companion of his grandfather’s, who was considered his grandmother, according to a local report.
He squeezed the trigger 14 times, striking Linda Kologi, 44, Steven Kologi, 42, Brittany Kologi, 18, and Mary Schulz, 70 in the Kologi’s Long Branch house, Monmouth County prosecutors said.
“These were acts of evil, carried out by someone who knew exactly what he was doing,” Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Sean Brennan said during the hearing, according to a press release the office issued Thursday. “He killed them because he could. He killed them because he wanted to.”
Monmouth County Supreme Court Judge Marc LeMieux said the quadruple slaying caused “immeasurable harm.” Kologi won’t be eligible for parole until 127 years and six months into his sentence.
“The intention of this court is that this defendant never see the light of the outside of a jail cell ever again,’’ LeMieux said during the hearing, according to the Asbury Park Press. “I hope one day, you realize the magnitude of what you’ve done here.”
The night of the slaughter, Kologi called his mother up to his room, where he had the lights off, and shot her dead. He then shot and killed his father who rushed up to see what happened.
After killing his parents, he then “casually” murdered his sister, who was home from her first semester in college, and Schulz, Brennan said.
Kologi had earplugs in to protect himself from the sound of the high-powered weapon and even researched whether that weapon would be effective against police officers if they responded with bulletproof vests before he carried out the sick plan, prosecutors said.
Kologi’s brother and grandfather, who were also home, were able to escape from the house.
“Even though they physically survived,” Brennan said, “they will still have to deal with the mental scars of what they saw.”
A defense attorney for Kologi, Richard Lomurro, argued his client was mentally ill and wanted only 30 years for him. The trial focused on whether he was criminally insane when he carried out the grisly attack, the Asbury Park Press reported.
“The bottom line is, Scott is not a cold-blooded killer,’’ Lomurro said, according to the Asbury Park Press. “Scott is, and was, severely mentally ill. But he will be sent to state prison to be with cold-blooded killers.”