Ethan Crumbley, the teenager accused of killing four students and injuring seven others at a Michigan high school in November 2021, pleaded guilty to 24 charges, including one count of terrorism.
On Monday, October 24, Ethan Crumbley, 16, who was tried as an adult, entered a guilty plea for going on a shooting rampage at Oxford High School in Detroit, Michigan last year. The teen reportedly used a semi-automatic handgun gifted to him by his father for Christmas.
At a Michigan high court on Monday, Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty in front of the victims' families to all 24 charges, which included four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm. Crumbley was 15 when he opened fire in a school hallway at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021.
Ethan Crumbley was also charged with a terrorism charge, which is uncommon in US shooting cases. However, prosecutors argued that the massacre instilled fear in the hearts of the terrified community, thus justifying the terrorism charge.
Ethan Crumbley will be sentenced in 2023
Ethan Crumbley is expected to return to court in February 2023 for a sentencing hearing, where he will hear victim impact statements. Crumbley, who pleaded not guilty earlier this year due to reason of insanity, changed his plea and admitted to his crimes by answering "yes," when asked if he killed the victims, who were all identified by name.
In November 2021, Crumbley reportedly carried the gun in his backpack and pulled it out of his bag in the school bathroom before opening fire in the institution's hallway. The shooting claimed the lives of Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling and Madisyn Baldwin, who were both 17 at the time of their deaths.
During the plea hearing, Crumbley admitted that on the day of the shooting, he took the gun out of an unlocked container in his home, four days after the gun was presented to him for Christmas.
Earlier this year, the parents of an injured teen, Mary and Matthew Mueller, filed a lawsuit against the dealer who sold the handgun used in the Oxford High School massacre.
Ethan Crumbley's parents were also charged with the school shooting
The teenager’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were also charged with involuntary manslaughter for providing their son with a weapon despite obvious signs of violence exhibited by the teenager that culminated in a school massacre.
Both parents have pleaded not guilty in an unprecedented case in which, for the first time, the suspect's family was also held responsible for a school shooting.
Prosecutors argued that Jennifer and James Crumbley had every reason to believe that their son, who grew up in a volatile home, was dangerous and could have prevented the massacre if they had secured the gun in a safe place.
According to CNN, court filings stated:
“What the evidence will show is that these defendants exposed their son to years of chaotic, toxic conflict, which is a well-known risk factor for entering the pathway to violence."
“The investigation paints a clear picture of parents who were not just in constant conflict, or who just exposed their son to conflict, but who actively inserted him into their conflict.”
The guilty plea comes on the heels of another school shooting that unfolded on Monday, October 24, at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis. The shooting reportedly claimed the lives of a teen and an adult, CNN reports.
There has been a significant increase in school shootings across the country in the last year. According to CNN, ever since the Oxford High School tragedy in November 2021, more than 70 shootings have occurred across American schools.
Ethan Crumbley is expected to be sentenced to life without parole. Earlier this month, Nikolas Cruz, a teen accused of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida in 2018, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.