Ethan Crumble, a teenager accused of shooting four classmates at his school in the US state of Michigan in November 2021, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday.
Oakland County Judge Kwam Rowe justified imposing the maximum sentence on what he considered a “true act of terrorism” in the deaths of four Oxford High School students: Hana. St. Juliana, age 14, Madisyn Baldwin, age 17, Tate Myer, age 16, and Justin Schilling, age 17.
The judge noted that the teenager, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, forced his co-worker, Justin Schilling, to kneel before killing him. “It’s an execution: it’s torture,” the judge said, according to NBC News.
Crumble became the first minor in the United States to receive such a harsh sentence since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that two 14-year-olds convicted of murder could not be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
“I’m truly sorry for what I did and what I took from them. I can’t give them back [a vida]But I can do whatever I can in the future to help others, and that’s what I will do,” Crumbley said before being sentenced, according to CNN.
The Oakland County District Attorney’s Office asserted that the teenager’s parents ignored “warning signs” and did not act despite knowing their son’s “disturbing preferences for torturing animals and watching extreme violent videos.”
The parents, who were originally reported to be on the run until his arrest, gave the teenager a semi-automatic handgun that he had fired and ignored the school’s warning about their son’s erratic behavior.
In March of this year, in an unprecedented ruling by a US judge, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that James and Jennifer Crumbley could be tried for involuntary manslaughter.
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