Michigan teenager pleads guilty to terrorism and other charges in deadly school shooting

A teenager pleaded guilty on Monday to terrorism and first-degree murder in a Michigan school shooting that killed four students and placed an extraordinary focus on the boy’s home life and his parents’ alleged role in the tragedy.

Ethan Crumbley has pleaded guilty to 24 counts, nearly a year after the attack at Oxford High School in southeast Michigan. In the gallery, relatives of the victims wept as Assistant District Attorney Marc Keast described the crimes.

“Yes,” Crumbley replied, when asked if he had “knowingly, willfully and deliberately” chosen to shoot other students.

The prosecutor’s office said no agreement was reached before Monday’s plea. A first-degree murder conviction usually carries an automatic sentence of life in prison in Michigan, but teens are entitled to a hearing at which their attorney can argue for a shorter term and the possibility of parole.

The teenager withdrew his intention to pursue an insanity defense and repeatedly acknowledged that he understood the potential penalties.

Crumbley, now 16, had no discipline problems at school, about 50 miles north of Detroit, but his behavior earlier on the day of the mass shooting raised flags.

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”.

James and Jennifer Crumbley refused to take their son home on November 30, but were told to get him on counseling within 48 hours, according to investigators.

4 killed, 7 wounded by bullet

Crumbley had brought a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and 50 rounds to school in his backpack that day and then fired it at other students. Deputies rushed in and captured him within minutes.

A day earlier, a teacher had seen Ethan looking for ammunition on his phone. The school contacted Jennifer Crumbley, who told her son in a text message, “Lol. I’m not mad at you. You gotta learn not to get caught,” the district attorney’s office said.

Separately, the elder Crumbleys face manslaughter charges. They are accused of making a weapon accessible to Ethan and ignoring his need for mental health treatment. Parents have rarely been charged in school shootings, although the weapons used usually come from the home of a parent or close relative.

Earlier this year, prosecutors revealed Ethan had hallucinations about demons and was fascinated with guns and Nazi propaganda.

“Put simply, they created an environment in which their son’s violent tendencies flourished. They knew their son was troubled, and then they bought him a gun,” prosecutors said in a court filing.

The Crumbleys said they were unaware of Ethan’s plan to carry out a school shooting. They also dispute that the weapon was easy to seize at home.

WATCH | The announcement of the charges against Crumbley’s parents:

US prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooter

The parents of the accused Michigan school shooter have been charged with manslaughter, with prosecutors alleging they were negligent and contributed to the deaths of four students.

Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling were killed, while six students and a teacher were injured. In addition to counts of first degree murder and terrorism causing death, Ethan admitted guilt to seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. .

The judge has set February 9 as the start of hearings to determine whether he will be sentenced to life without parole or if he will get a shorter sentence because of his age and a chance of release. His lawyers will be able to argue various mitigating circumstances, including family life and mental health. Prosecutors did not tell the court whether they would plead for a non- parole sentence.