Oakland County, Michigan
A teenager accused of killing four students and wounding seven at a Michigan high school last year pleaded guilty to all charges against him on Monday in what prosecutors called a landmark case.
Ethan Crabley has pleaded guilty to one count of terrorism-related death, four counts of first-degree murder and 19 other charges in connection with the Nov. 30 Oxford High School mass shooting.
“We are not aware of any other case in the country where a mass shooter has been convicted of terrorism on state charges,” said Oakland County Attorney Karen McDonald. was convicted on charges of targeted violence.”
On Monday, the 16-year-old, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and pulling a medical mask under his chin, answered “yes” when asked if he killed every victim who was killed — all victims are confirmed by name.
The mother of victim Madisyn Baldwin, 17, began shaking and crying at the mention of her daughter’s name, and Crumley admitted killing her. Tate Myre, 16, was also killed; Hannah Street Juliana, 14; and Justin Schilling, 17.
Crabley also confirmed that on the day of the mass shooting, he removed a gun from an unlocked container in his home, hid it in his backpack, took it out of the bag in the bathroom, and showed it to his Classmates open fire.
The teenager faces life in prison without parole on multiple charges. His parents have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are scheduled to stand trial in January.
Since the Oxford High School massacre in November, there have been more than 70 shootings at schools across the country.
After Monday’s hearing – another school shooting unfolds in St. Petersburg. Lewis, the lead prosecutor in the Oxford High School case, was asked how her office’s experience with the Crabley lawsuit could inform efforts to curb the scourge of gun violence in the country.
“It’s not just shared with other departments. Gun violence is preventable, that’s what I’ve learned. The fact that there’s another school shooting doesn’t surprise me — it’s horrible,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
“We need to let the public know and inform the public … how we can prevent gun violence. It’s preventable and we should never make it something we should live with.”
The families of several victims and survivors have appeared in court over Crumbley’s guilty plea.
Survivor Keegan Gregory’s mother Megan Gregory said: “It was difficult to see him in person for the first time.”
“In the case of my own child, I only plead guilty, and I think it took 1,000 pounds off his chest so he didn’t have to stand there to testify and relive it,” she said.
“So for him, it was a big awakening that almost allowed him to start the actual healing process.”
She said Meghan Gregory tried to show sympathy for Crabley but didn’t think he had shown any remorse.
“I try to see him as a kid in need, but the closer I get to this, the harder it is for me now to forgive anyone who murders people, tortures kids, hugs my son, almost plays with cats, and the mice in the bathroom, ‘ said Gregory.
“That won’t work. I’ll never have the same kid as November 29th.”
Crabley, who was 15 at the time of the Oxford school shooting, had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, but reversed his plea at Monday’s hearing.
Attorney Paulette Michele Loftin said Monday that his defense team had previously filed a defense of insanity notice for the teen but ultimately decided it was in his best interests to plead guilty.
“Originally, we filed a notice of insanity based on our conversations and a review of the findings. We thought it would be appropriate to withdraw this and have him plead guilty today,” Loftin said.
After Crumbley pleaded guilty on Monday, State Judge Kwamé Rowe scheduled a hearing for Feb. 9 and said he would set a sentencing date after that, allowing victims’ families to be heard at the sentencing hearing. speak on.
The teen’s parents, Jennifer and James Crabley, were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the shooting after prosecutors accused them of making the gun easy for their son and ignoring it before it happened. He is a sign of threat.
Prosecutors say James Crabley purchased the gun used in the shooting four days before the fatal attack.
But prosecutors said Jennifer and James Crabley played “a much bigger role than just buying a gun for their son.”
The parents have pleaded not guilty, and their lawyers have argued in court documents that the charges have no legal basis and that the couple should not be held responsible for the killings their son is accused of committing.
The parents’ trial was scheduled to begin on Monday, but was delayed until January last month.
Jennifer and James Crabley remain in the county jail. There is a no-contact order that prohibits Ethan Crabley from talking to his parents.
His attorney, Loftin, said the teenager could be called as a witness in his parents’ case.
During the teen’s arraignment, prosecutors said Ethan Crabley “methodically and deliberately” walked down the hallway, aimed a gun at the student and fired at close range.
Students and teachers rely on the strategies they learn in active shooting training to protect themselves.
When gunfire rang out, the frightened students blocked the door, turned off the lights, and called for help. Some kids arm themselves with scissors in case they need to fight back.
Six students and a teacher were injured.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Butchard praised prosecutors and his own deputies for bringing a “twisted and evil” man to the point of pleading guilty, saving survivors and victims’ families from the trauma of trial.
Bouchard pointed to a pin he wears on his uniform, which is awarded to first responders to all shootings.
It has four stars — one for each student killed in the shooting — and the number 18, which represents the 18 rounds Crabley left behind when he was arrested by police.
“I believe if he wasn’t interrupted by representatives who came in right away, he would have fired everyone,” Bouchard said, comparing his team’s response to the school shootings in Uwald, Texas, and Parkland, Florida. ”
Gretchen Whitmer also thanked prosecutors and first responders after the Michigan governor pleaded guilty to Crumley.
“Furthermore, I thank the Michigan Legislature for their bipartisan legislative cooperation to dedicate additional resources to Oxford Community Schools to help them hire mental health professionals, enhance safety, and provide more learning for students in the wake of the tragedy time,” Whitmer said in a statement.
In June, Whitmer signed legislation to fully fund risk assessments and critical morbidity mapping in every Michigan school to help protect students and in emergency situations, according to a statement from Whitmer’s office. Create a safety plan.
In July, the governor signed a bipartisan education budget that includes an additional $250 million for students’ mental health needs, with dedicated per-student funding for each school—214 per child in each district. dollars — especially for campus safety and mental health, her office said.
“As Michiganders, we must do more to protect each other from gun violence,” Whitmer said. “Let’s work together on background checks, safe storage and red flag laws — common sense gun violence prevention measures to keep our communities safe.”