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Teenage Michigan school shooter is eligible for life in prison without parole, judge rules

Teenage Michigan school shooter is eligible for life in prison without parole, judge rules

Ethan Crumbley was 15 when he entered Oxford High School in Michigan and shot four classmates dead, wounding six other people

A judge has ruled that a teenager who shot four of his classmates and injured seven other people at a high school in Michigan is eligible to be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Judge Kwame Rowe was discussing the possibility of parole for Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 when he entered Oxford High School just outside Detroit and started shooting.

At Oakland County Circuit Court, Judge Rowe ruled that the teenage shooter would be eligible for a sentence of life without parole when his sentencing date comes around on December 8.

Last October, Crumbley pleaded guilty to 24 charges including four counts of first-degree murder and another of terrorism causing death.

In normal circumstances, an adult convicted of those charges would receive a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, but in the case of minors – as Crumbley was at the time of the incident – judges are required to deliberate and make a decision on whether the sentence is permissible.

Ethan Crumbley can be sentenced to life without parole, the judge ruled.

That is necessary because of precedent laid down following a 2012 US Supreme Court decision

Over the course of a four-day hearing in August, the judge was shown footage from the school shooting by prosecutors, as well as reading through some disturbing entries in Crumbley’s personal journal.

He also heard witness testimony from local law enforcement officers and other students at the school.

During that hearing, prosecutors drew attention to horrific statements made by Crumbley in the lead-up to the shooting, particularly an audio recording in which he said he would ‘have so much fun’ shooting the kids at his school.

In his defense, attorneys presented the judge with testimony from doctors who said that there was potential to treat Crumbley’s mental health issues, given time.

Judge Rowe said: "The prosecution has rebutted the presumption, by clear and convincing evidence, that a sentence to life without parole is a disproportionate sentence."

The now-17-year-old carried out the massacre at Oxford High School in November 2021, using a semi-automatic handgun that his father had bought him for Christmas.

Crumbley killed two boys, aged 17 and 16, and two girls aged 17 and 14, and also wounded six more students and a teacher during the shooting.

Crumbley killed four students and wounded seven more people during the November 2021 shooting.

This case is unique in US history as it is the first time that a teenage school shooter’s parents have also been charged with crimes that have been attributed to their child.

James and Jennifer Crumbley have pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in relation to the shooting.

Pertaining to that case, Rochester District Court Judge Julie Nicholson said that evidence showed that the parents had bought their son a gun, despite all the signs pointing to him being a ‘troubled young man’.

A three-person panel decided in March the pair would have to face trial, though the parents did later appeal.

Crumbley will be sentenced on December 8.

Featured Image Credit: Handout/Pool

Topics: US News, Crime

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