Ethan Crumbley vowed to change before he was sentenced, saying he was a “horrible person”; Photo: Carlos Osorio/AP
A teenager who shot and killed four students at his Michigan high school was sentenced to life in prison without parole after the court heard hours of testimony from wounded survivors and parents who lost children.< p>Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 when he opened fire at Oxford High School north of Detroit, previously pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism charges.
On Friday, a judge said Crumbley, now 17, years, must spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Judge Kwame Rowe of the Oakland County Circuit Court said, “I know that whatever sentence the court imposes will not bring back your loved ones or heal the lifelong mental anguish or physical scars that some of you have.”< p>“But I hope this sentence will allow you to close one chapter in your life.”
The judge rejected calls from Crumbley's lawyers for a lesser sentence.
Emergency services arrived at Oxford High School after Crumbley opened fire on his classmates. Photo: Todd McInturff/Detroit News
They argued that he suffered from mental illness and should be given the opportunity for parole. Life sentences for teenagers in Michigan are extremely rare.
The judge's decision came after listening to hours of harrowing testimony from survivors of the November 2021 attack and parents who lost their children. In total, more than 20 people gave so-called witness statements.
Nicole Beausoleil said she remembers seeing the body of her daughter Madisyn Baldwin in the coroner's office, her hand with blue-painted nails sticking out from under the covering.
“I looked through the glass. My screaming should have destroyed him,” Ms. Beausoleil said.
Another parent, Buck Mair, father of Tate Mair, said their family was “not happy.” We miss Tate.”
He added: “There is a permanent hole in our family that can never be fixed.”
At least seven people, six of them students, were wounded in the shooting, which Crumbley carried out with a semi-automatic pistol allegedly purchased for him by his parents James and Jennifer Crumbley.
They are also charged with manslaughter and are due to appear in court early next year. They deny the charges.
Some of the surviving students also went to court.
One of them said that she now feels guilty.
” Until this day, the school was a place of growth and communication. This was where I was supposed to feel safe, where I was destined to lay the foundation for my future. But the events that happened destroyed that sense of security and left an undeniable mark on my soul,” the teenager said.
“The guilt of living when others didn’t is a heavy burden that I like and others.” I’ll have to endure it.”
Before sentencing, Crumbley vowed to try to change.
“My actions were what I chose to do. I couldn’t stop,” he said. “I'm a very bad person. I did terrible things.”