A man who admitted to shooting his ex-girlfriend inside an Indiana County home was released from jail Thursday after a judge accepted a not guilty by reason of insanity plea.
John Reome admitted in court that he shot his girlfriend Billie Jo Varner with a shotgun at their home in January 2012.
Varner attended Thursday’s hearing and said just two days before she was shot she tried to get Reome committed to a hospital, but the state would not allow it.
“I will suffer forever for this. Today, he walks free,” Varner said.
She added that she now fears for her safety.
“I have no clue what this man will do. I have been shot. I have been through hell. I have no idea if he’s going to come back and come after us. I don’t know what he’s going to do. No one does,” Varner said.
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty also voiced his displeasure.
"It’s basically one of the more tragic shootings in our county's history and he's walking out of this jail less than two years after being charged,” Dougherty said.
Reome’s attorney, David Shrager, defended his client, and said he fell through the cracks of a broken mental health system.
"He couldn't be more remorseful. He lost his family, those were people he loved. He is mentally ill and that's a disease and nobody asked for that and nobody wanted that. He is probably the most remorseful client I have ever have," Shrager said.
Shrager said Reome will be living in Florida with his parents and will receive treatment there.