Michigan School Shooter Eligible For Harshest Punishment Possible

Oxford High School Shooter Ethan Crumbley Attends Court Hearing

Photo: Pool / Getty Images News / Getty Images

The teenage gunman who killed four people and wounded seven others at Oxford High School in Michigan is eligible to be sent to prison for life without the possibility of parole, the harshest punishment a convict can receive in Michigan.

Because Ethan Crumbley, now 17, was 15 when he killed four of his classmates, a Miller hearing had to be held to determine if he was eligible for life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

He pleaded guilty to numerous crimes, including one count of terrorism causing death and four counts of first-degree murder.

Crumbley's defense argued he should be eligible for parole, citing mitigating factors such as his rough life at home and his pleas to his parents to seek mental health treatment. 

However, prosecutors played audio messages in which Crumbley said being a school shooter would be "fun" to demonstrate that he should remain locked up for the rest of his life. 

"We have to deal with the darkness and the violence, and we have to accept that it happened. And we can also say we wish he had a better upbringing. But we're not going to ignore facts – and the facts are that he had a choice," Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald told the court. "He had many opportunities. He plotted, he planned, he showed none of the mitigating factors and evidence that you see in hundreds of other juvenile life without parole cases."

Crumbley will be sentenced on December 8.

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