Ethan Crumbley, the perpetrator of the Oxford High School shooting in November 2021, faced the consequences of his actions in an Oakland County courtroom, condemning himself as “a really bad person” in the moments before he was sentenced to life in prison.
On a fateful day two years ago, Crumbley, then 15, entered the school with a firearm concealed in his backpack. His actions resulted in the tragic loss of four students: 16-year-olds Tate Myre and Justin Shilling, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana and 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin. This incident not only claimed these lives but also left seven others injured.
“I am a really bad person. I have done some terrible things. I have lied and I’m not trustworthy. I hurt many people,” Crumbley said moments before his sentencing. He conveyed his desire for his peers to feel safe and secure and apologized for his actions.
Crumbley had previously pleaded guilty in October 2022 to 24 counts, including four counts of first-degree murder. The legal proceedings, known as a Miller hearing, began on July 27 to determine if Crumbley, now 17, could be sentenced to life in prison without parole, a punishment typically reserved for adult offenders. “I can try my best in the future to help other people and that is what I will do,” he stated, requesting Judge Kwame Rowe to impose any sentence the victims desired.
Rowe sentenced Crumbley to life without the possibility of parole. During the July 27 hearing, evidence presented included a notebook where Crumbley wrote about his impending life in prison. Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed during the Miller hearing that Crumbley executed the shooting at point-blank range, as shown in video footage.
The courtroom heard emotional testimonies from the victims’ families. Buck Myre, father of Tate Myre, spoke of the void in their family, while Nicole Beausoleil, mother of Madisyn Baldwin, addressed Crumbley directly, foretelling his future realization of the path he chose. Craig Shilling, Justin Shilling’s father, highlighted his son’s posthumous act of saving five lives as an organ donor. Reina St. Juliana, Hana’s older sister, shared the profound impact of her sister’s absence in their family life.
Attorney Ven Johnson, representing multiple families, saw the sentencing as a significant step toward justice. He emphasized the ongoing efforts to hold Oxford Community Schools and various employees accountable.
Crumbley’s defense highlighted his severe mental illness and lack of intervention from his parents or school officials. They argued for his potential rehabilitation, noting his participation in therapy and medication. Crumbley acknowledged his sole responsibility for the events, absolving his parents of any blame.
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