PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A teenager pleaded guilty Monday to terrorism and first-degree murder in the Michigan school shooting that killed four students, with special concern for the boy’s family life and the role his parents played in this tragedy.
Ethan Crumbley, 16, pleaded guilty to all 24 charges nearly a year after the attack at Oxford High School in southeastern Michigan. In the gallery, some relatives of the victims shed tears as Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Kiester described the crimes.
“Yes,” Crambury replied, bowing his head and nodding in the affirmative, when asked if he had chosen to shoot the other students “intentionally, on purpose and on purpose.”
The prosecutor’s office said no deal had been reached prior to Monday’s request. In Michigan, a first-degree murder conviction usually carries an automatic life sentence, but teens are entitled to a hearing where their attorneys can negotiate shorter sentences and a chance for parole.
The teen withdrew his intention to plead insanity and repeatedly admitted under questioning by Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame Rowe that he understood the potential penalty.
His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were also in prison on separate charges. Prosecutors allege the couple let Ethan get the gun while ignoring his need for mental health treatment. Crumbley’s attorney, Paulette Michel Loftin, said he may be called to testify against them.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, at the time of the shooting, had no disciplinary problems at his school about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit, but his behavior earlier in the day had drawn attention.
A teacher found a drawing of a gun pointing at the text: “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” There was a picture of bullets that read: “Blood everywhere.”
James and Jennifer Crumbley refused to bring their son home in November. 30 but was told to put him in for counseling within 48 hours, according to investigators.
Ethan Crumbley brought a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol and 50 rounds of ammunition to school that day in his backpack. He went into the bathroom, pulled out his weapon, and started shooting. Minutes later, deputies rushed in and he surrendered without resistance.
A day earlier, a teacher had seen Ethan Crumbley searching for ammo on his phone. The school contacted Jennifer Crumbley, who told her son in a text message: “Haha. I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” the prosecutor’s office said.
The elder Crumbley faces manslaughter charges. Parents are rarely charged in school shootings, although often the guns used come from the parents’ or close relative’s home.
Prosecutors revealed earlier this year that Ethan Crambury was hallucinating demons and was fascinated by guns and Nazi propaganda.
“In short, they created an environment that allowed their son’s violent tendencies to thrive. They knew their son was in trouble, and they bought him a gun,” prosecutors said in a court filing. Say.
His parents said they were unaware their son was planning a school shooting. They also questioned how easy it was to grab the gun at home.
Madison Baldwin, Tate Meyer, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling were killed, and six students and a teacher were injured. Ethan Crambury pleaded guilty to seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of felony possession of a firearm, in addition to first-degree murder and terrorism causing death.
The judge is scheduled for February. A hearing will begin on the 9th to determine whether he will be sentenced to life in prison or a shorter sentence because of his age, with a chance of release. His lawyers will be able to argue various mitigating circumstances, including family life and mental health. Prosecutors did not say in court whether they would argue against parole.
Loftin said the teen was remorseful: “He’s taking responsibility for his actions,” she said. As for the victims, she said there was nothing she could say to comfort them.
“Obviously, it’s been a very emotional day. I don’t think there are words to make them feel better,” she said.
Detroit Attorney Vin Johnson, who represents families of several victims in the civil lawsuit against the Oxford School District and the Crambury family, said Monday’s request “is a step forward on the long road to full justice for our clients.” one small step.”
Johnson said: “We will continue to fight until the truth is known about what caused this tragedy, who could and should have prevented it, including Crambury’s parents and multiple staff at Oxford Community School.”
Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.