Teenager sentenced to life after Michigan school shooting

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DETROIT (TBEN) — Prosecutors said they will seek a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a 16-year-old boy who killed four fellow students at a Michigan school and pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism.

They announced their plans in a lawsuit on Monday, three weeks after Ethan Crumbley, 16, dropped a possible insanity defense and admitted the November 2021 Oxford High School shooting.

A first-degree murder conviction in Michigan typically carries an automatic life sentence in Michigan. But teens are entitled to a hearing where their attorney can raise mental health issues and other issues and argue for a shorter term.

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Cumbley pleaded guilty to all 24 charges. The criminal trial is expected to start in February.

“A term of imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole is appropriate in this case,” said Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Marc Keast.

Messages requesting comment were sent to Cumbley’s lawyers.

The boy was 15 at the time of the shooting at Oxford High, about 30 miles north of Detroit. Four students were killed and six other students and a teacher were injured.

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His parents, James and Jennifer Cumbley, are imprisoned on involuntary manslaughter charges. They are accused of making the gun accessible to their son and ignoring his need for mental health care.

When he pleaded guilty, Ethan Crumbley said his father bought the gun for him with the teen’s own money a few days before the shooting. The boy said the weapon was not locked in a container or safe at home.

Ethan Crumbley had brought the 9mm Sig Sauer pistol and 50 rounds of ammunition in his backpack to school. Earlier that day, a teacher had discovered a drawing with a gun pointed at the words, “Thoughts don’t stop. Help me.” There was an image of a bullet with the message: “Blood everywhere”.

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The Cumbleys refused to take their son home, but were told to get him into therapy within 48 hours, according to investigators. Ethan Cumbley later entered a school bathroom, pulled out the gun and began firing.