Oxford, Michigan: 16-year-old Ethan Crumbly appeared in court yesterday morning before Oakland County Circuit Judge Kwame L. Rowe and plead guilty.
After Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast asked Crumbly a few questions including whether or not it was true that his actions on November 30, 2021 caused the intended deaths of four students, to which Crumbly answered, "yes," Rowe accepted his plea.
Crumbly's attorney, Paulette Michel Loftin withdrew their intention to pursue an insanity defense before her client entered his plea.
She went on to state that the plea was Crumbly's idea and said that, "He wanted to accept accountability... to do the right thing." She described her client as being remorseful.
To the contrary, Wolfgang Mueller, a lawyer representing the families of Madison, 17, who was killed in the shooting and Phoebe, a surviving freshman, said he was "shocked" by Crumbly's cold-blooded manner and how he seemed to be "showing no emotion" during the 26-minute hearing.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said at a news conference following the plea that they "are not aware of any other case anywhere in the country where a mass shooter has been convicted of terrorism on state charges."
The plea "guarantees every person who was in Oxford High School on that day will have a chance, if they want to, to speak in their own words about how this has affected them," McDonald said.
Despite being 15 at the time of the shootings, Crumbly was charged as an adult.
Before Crumbly could be sentenced to life without parole as a juvenile a Miller hearing would be required. During that hearing attorneys can present evidence in favor and against such a sentence including bringing into evidence his upbringing and possible other extenuating circumstances.
If the court opted for a sentence other than life, he could be sentenced to a minimum of 25-40 years, up to 60 years in prison.
Judge Rowe has scheduled the Miller hearing for February 9, 2023 at 9:00 am.