(PONTIAC, Mich.) — Ethan Crumbley is scheduled to be sentenced Friday for killing four of his classmates and wounding others in the 2021 Michigan school shooting.
Crumbley, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty last year to 24 charges, including first-degree premeditated murder and terrorism causing death.
He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole after a judge ruled that the sentence was appropriate despite his age at the time of the shooting.
The charges of first-degree premeditated murder and terrorism causing death both carry a minimum sentence of 25 to 40 years.
Prosecutors have said there were no plea deals, reductions or agreements regarding sentencing.
Four students — Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17 — were killed when Crumbley opened fire at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. Six students and a teacher were wounded in the shooting rampage.
Victims will have an opportunity to provide impact statements at the sentencing hearing.
During a hearing to determine whether Crumbley could be eligible for life in prison without parole, Judge Kwamé Rowe highlighted evidence against the teen in which he displayed violence, including Crumbley saying he felt something “between good and pleasurable” when he tortured a baby bird.
“There is other disturbing evidence but it is clear to this court that the defendant had an obsession with violence before the shooting,” Rowe said.
Issuing his decision, Rowe questioned the possibility that Crumbley could be rehabilitated in jail.
“The evidence does not demonstrate to this court that he wants to change,” Rowe said.
“The defendant continues to be obsessed with violence and could not stop his violence in jail,” Rowe added.
Victims of the shooting gave emotional testimony in court during the multiday hearing.
His parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly failing to recognize warning signs about their son in the months before the shooting.
Both parents have pleaded not guilty and their trial is set to begin on Jan. 23.
During his plea hearing in October 2022, Crumbley admitted in court that he asked his father to buy him a specific gun and confirmed he gave his father money for the gun and that the semi-automatic handgun wasn’t kept in a locked safe.
Days before the shooting, a teacher allegedly saw Crumbley researching ammunition in class; school officials contacted his parents but they didn’t respond, according to prosecutors. His mother texted her son, writing, “lol, I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught,” according to prosecutors.
Hours before the shooting, according to prosecutors, a teacher saw a note on his desk that was “a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, ‘The thoughts won’t stop, help me.’ In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet, ‘Blood everywhere."”
Crumbley’s parents were called to the school over the incident, saying they’d get their son counseling but did not take him home.
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