DETROIT (AP) – A 16-year-old boy who killed four fellow students at a Michigan school and pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism charges will face life in prison without the possibility of parole, prosecutors said.
They revealed their plans in court filings Monday, three weeks after 16-year-old Ethan Crumbley dropped his insanity defense after admitting to the November 2021 shooting at Oxford High School.
A first-degree murder charge usually carries an automatic life sentence in Michigan. But teenagers are entitled to a hearing where their attorney can raise mental health and other issues and make brief arguments.
Crumbley pleaded guilty to all 24 charges. It has been decided to start the punishment proceedings in February.
“A sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole is appropriate in this case,” Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Keast said.
Messages seeking comment were sent to Crumbley’s attorneys.
The boy was 15 when the shooting happened at Oxford High, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. Four students were killed and six students and a teacher were injured.
His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are in prison for involuntary manslaughter. She is accused of giving her son access to guns and neglecting his need for mental health treatment.
When he pleaded guilty, Ethan Crumbley said his father bought him a gun with the teenager’s own money just days before the shooting. The gun was not locked in a container or securely in the house, the boy said.
Ethan Crumbley brought a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition to school in his backpack. Earlier that day, a teacher found a drawing of a gun pointing: “Thoughts never stop. Help me.” There was a picture of a bullet with the message “Blood everywhere”.
The Crumblis refused to take their son home, but investigators said they wanted him to undergo counseling within 48 hours. Ethan Crumbley then entered a school bathroom, pulled out a weapon and began shooting.
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