Life sentence sought for teenager in Michigan school shooting

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors said they would seek a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a 16-year-old boy who killed four classmates at a Michigan school and pleaded guilty to murder and of terrorism.

They disclosed their plans in a court filing on Monday, three weeks after 16-year-old Ethan Crumbley withdrew a possible insanity defense and admitted to the shooting at Oxford High School in November 2021.

A first-degree murder conviction usually carries an automatic sentence of life in prison in Michigan. But teenagers are entitled to a hearing where their attorney can raise mental health and other issues and plead for a shorter term.

Crumbley pleaded guilty to 24 counts. The sentencing process is expected to begin in February.

“A life sentence without the possibility of parole is appropriate in this case,” Oakland County Assistant District Attorney Marc Keast said.

Messages seeking comment have been sent to Crumbley’s attorneys.

The boy was 15 at the time of the shooting at Oxford High, about 50 kilometers north of Detroit. Four students were killed and six other students and a teacher were injured.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are imprisoned for manslaughter. They are accused of making the gun available to their son and ignoring his mental health needs.

When he pleaded guilty, Ethan Crumbley said his father bought him the gun with the teenager’s money days before the shooting. The boy said the gun was not locked in a container or in a home safe.

Ethan Crumbley had brought the Sig Sauer 9mm, 50 round handgun to school in his backpack. Earlier in the day, a teacher had discovered a drawing with a gun pointed at the words: “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” There was a picture of a bullet with the message, “Blood everywhere.”

The Crumbleys refused to take their son home, but were told to get him on counseling within 48 hours, according to investigators. Ethan Crumbley later went into the school bathroom, pulled out the gun, and started shooting.




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