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Miller hearing for Oxford school shooter continues


By WNEM Digital

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    OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan (WNEM) — Ethan Crumbley, the 17-year-old who shot and killed four students at Oxford High School in 2021, is in court on Friday for the second day of his Miller hearing, which began on Thursday, July 27.

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Crumbley to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

During an opening statement on Thursday, Crumbley’s lawyer said the teen can be rehabilitated and should not be sentenced to life in prison.

The first witness called to the stand, Oakland County Sheriff’s Lt. Timothy Willis, read Crumbley’s plans to shoot up the school from Crumbley’s handwritten journal. Willis testified Crumbley’s journal was found in a bathroom stall at the high school following the shooting.

“I will cause the largest school shooting in the state. I wish to hear the screams of the children as I shoot them,” Willis said Crumbley wrote in his journal.

Oakland County Judge Kwame Rowe has set aside at least two days for the hearing and is not expected to make an immediate decision.

Under state law, Crumbley could be given a minimum sentence of 25 to 40 years. He would be eligible for parole but could face delayed hearings through the parole board, which would keep him in custody.

A life sentence is rare for Michigan teens convicted of first-degree murder since a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision said minors must be viewed differently than adult murder suspects.

Crumbley was 15-years-old when he killed four students and wounded seven others at Oxford High School in November 2021. That day, he and his parents met with school staff after a teacher found Crumbley’s drawings that included blood, bodies, and a gun with the words, “the thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”

Crumbley stayed in school and his backpack was not checked for weapons. He has pleaded guilty to 24 charges that include first-degree murder, attempted murder, and terrorism. Prosecutors insist Crumbley’s decisions can’t be mitigated by his age or immaturity.

Crumbley’s parents are separately charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting. Prosecutors claimed the parents were “grossly negligent” for buying their son a gun and ignoring his mental health needs.

Crumbley’s lawyers plan to offer testimony from an expert in child brain development and another who has spent time with the teen and performed psychological tests.

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