A judge has ruled that a teenager who murdered four students at Oxford High School in Michigan could face life in prison without the possibility of parole, reports Breaking News.
Judge Kwame Roe announced the decision via videoconference weeks after hearing from experts who described in great detail Ethan Crumbley’s mental health and the harrowing day of witnessing in 2021.
Judge Rowe said prosecutors overcame the assumption that life in prison would be unfair to a minor.
When Crumbley heard the decision, he sat in a cell in the county jail with his lawyers.
The 17-year-old will be formally sentenced in an Oakland County court on December 8, when survivors and families can tell the judge how the shooting has impacted their lives.
Michigan has an automatic life sentence for adults for first-degree murder, but Crumbley was 15 at the time, which gave the judge the option of giving him life in prison or a shorter sentence – from 25 to 40 years – and a last chance at freedom, reports Breaking News.
“This crime is not the result of impetuosity or recklessness,” Rowe said. “Nor does the crime reflect the hallmarks of youth. Defendant carefully and meticulously planned and carried out the shooting,” reports Breaking News.
Crumbley is guilty of murder, terrorism and other crimes. The teenager and his parents met with school officials after a teacher noticed the violent drawing, but no one checked his backpack for a gun, so he was allowed to stay.
His lawyers say he went into a destructive spiral in the fall of 2021 after he was deeply neglected by his parents, who bought him a gun and took him to a shooting range to try it out.
Psychologist Colin King described him as a “feral child”.
Dr. Lisa Annaker, a psychiatrist who examined Crumbley at a state psychiatric hospital, concluded that he was not mentally ill at the time of the shooting, at least by the rigorous standards of Michigan law.
He killed Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Maire, Hannah St. Juliana and Justin Schilling at Oxford High, about 40 miles north of Detroit. Six students and one teacher were injured, reports Breaking News.
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