- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2002

GRUNDY, Va. Still angry about the former classmate who went on a shooting rampage at his law school and shattered the peace of this tiny coal town, Ted Besen described his feelings yesterday over lunch.
"You just feel violated somehow," Mr. Besen, 37, said as he ate a restaurant near the Appalachian School of Law. The former Marine and police officer was one of several students who jumped Peter Odighizuwa after last week's shooting left the dean, a professor and another student dead.
When classes resume tomorrow, Mr. Besen and others said they will return with mixed emotions. For certain, they said, nothing will be the same.
"I've been having bad dreams," said Mary Kilpatrick, 42, a third-year student from Kingsport, Tenn. "I guess there's no more security in law schools than there is any other place."
Mr. Odighizuwa, 43, is accused of gunning down school dean L. Anthony Sutin and professor Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, in their offices last Wednesday, and of opening fire in the school lounge, killing Angela Dales, 33, and injuring three others.
Mr. Odighizuwa, a former teacher from Dayton, Ohio, had recently learned that he flunked out of school for the second time.
Authorities have charged him with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver is seeking the death penalty.
"We're going to have an unofficial class reunion the day he gets the chair," said Matthew Harvey, 24, who spent the week driving between memorial services with other students.
Miss Kilpatrick said she and about 20 other students spent most of Monday in the school lounge, scrubbing out blood stains in the rug and rearranging furniture.
"It's therapeutic being back here; it keeps my mind off of things," Miss Kilpatrick said.
The school reopened yesterday, holding a two-hour counseling session and discussing the class schedule for the rest of the semester. President Lucius Ellsworth announced that Marquette University professor Jeffrey Kinsler has been hired to take over Mr. Sutin's class on constitutional law.
Mr. Kinsler, who was planning to join the law school staff in the fall, will share teaching duties with both schools this semester, Mr. Ellsworth said.
Outside, faculty and students wrote goodbye messages in memorial books that will eventually be given to the victims' families. They stepped out on the school's front steps and released yellow and green balloons, watching quietly as they rose above the hills and disappeared into a clear blue sky.
"I keep expecting Dean Sutin to come back," said Melanie Page, 22. "I just miss them all so much."
Wounded students Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, and Stacey Beans, 22, of Berea, Ky., all have been discharged from area hospitals. They plan to spend time with family before returning to school.
But the memories of what happened last week will last forever.
Mr. Besen said he can still hear the shrieks of fleeing students when gunfire first ripped through the school.
His wife had applied to Appalachian Law School in hopes of also pursuing a legal education, but now it's likely they will move away after he graduates in June.
Mr. Besen said he was thinking of working as a defense attorney when he applied to law school. But Mr. Odighizuwa has changed his mind.
"I don't ever want to defend someone like him."

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