Judge rules Oxford school shooter can be sentenced to life without parole

The judge overseeing Ethan Crumbley’s case ruled the school shooter can be sentenced to life without parole.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 8:57 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:59 PM EDT
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OAKLAND CO., Mich. (WNEM) - The judge overseeing Ethan Crumbley’s case ruled the school shooter can be sentenced to life without parole.

Crumbley previously pleaded guilty to killing four students and injuring several others at Oxford High School in November 2021.

The judge’s decision came after a Miller hearing in which the defense and prosecution presented evidence to the court.

“The defendant’s decision to conduct the school shooting was not impulsive,” Oakland County Judge Kwame Rowe said, adding the defendant thought out his plan. “He knew the outcome of his actions.”

Rowe said Crumbley does not have the “hallmark immaturity of a child.”

“Unlike immature children or teenagers, Defendant thought in depth about his future and how he fits into the world. To be clear, the court is not saying that teenagers cannot or do not think about their futures, but the level of Defendant’s in-depth thoughts about his future leads this court to believe that he is not immature or has the hallmark immaturity of a child,” Rowe said.

Rowe added it was unlikely Crumbley’s rehabilitation would be successful due to his “obsession” with violence.

“Defendant’s possibility of rehabilitation is slim. Defendant continues to be obsessed with violence and could not stop his obsession even while incarcerated at the jail,” Rowe said.

Crumbley is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 8.

“I commend the teachers and students who testified about what happened at Oxford High School that day, and I hope the result today brings the victims, their families, and the Oxford community some comfort,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

Attorney Ven Johnson, who represents some of the families impacted by the tragedy, issued the following statement:

“On behalf of my clients, who suffered immeasurable loss due to the tragic shooting at Oxford High School, we find some solace in the judge’s decision. This ruling underscores both accountability and our unwavering commitment to a society where such heinous acts will not be tolerated. Now that the judge has ruled that the prosecution sustained its burden of proof on the Miller factors, a likely sentence of life without parole will take place on December 8. While no sentence can mend the wounds left by this devastating event, this outcome marks the beginning of justice for the Oxford community and the victims and their families, who now know the shooter will never have the opportunity to victimize anyone ever again.”

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