Michigan School Shooter Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole

Ethan Crumbley stands with his attorneys Paulette Loftin, left, and Amy Hopp, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, in Pontiac, Mich. Parents of students killed at Michigan's Oxford High School described the anguish of losing their children Friday as a judge considered whether Crumbley will serve a life sentence for a mass shooting in 2021. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

A teenager in Michigan who killed four students with a semi-automatic handgun has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Ethan Crumbley, 17, pleaded guilty to terrorism and murder charges last year.

He was 15 when he opened fire at Oxford High School, around 30 miles (48km) north of Detroit, in November 2021.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are awaiting trial on four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors have argued Mr and Mrs Crumbley ignored their son’s depression and fascination with guns.

The teenager killed four and injured seven in the worst school shooting in Michigan’s history, which devastated Oxford – a small suburban town of 22,000 people.

Though the defense asked for the option of parole, the judge said he was applying the maximum sentence, in part, as a deterrent to any other young person plotting a similar gun attack.

“He did this for notoriety,” said Judge Kwamé Rowe, calling the attack “a true act of terrorism”.

Friday’s sentencing followed nearly five hours of emotional testimony from survivors and the loved ones of the four young victims, Hana St Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17.

While the victims’ friends and family sought the harshest sentence during the hearing, the defendant wore an orange prison jumpsuit and sat with his head bowed and eyes fixed on his hands.

“We are suffocating together in disbelief,” said Madisyn’s mother, Nicole Beausoleil. “No-one will forgive you.”

Reina St Juliana, the sister of Hana, spoke of losing the family’s “bright light”.

“Loving Hana shouldn’t be this painful and life isn’t supposed to be this paralysing,” Reina said. “I don’t want to wake up in the morning because Hana is not here.”

Other students and educators at the school that day also took the stand on Friday to share gut-wrenching details from the shooting. Some at the sentencing hearing openly wept and buried their faces in their hands due to the nature of the testimony.

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