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The Michigan teen who gunned down four classmates in his high school in 2021 was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.
Judge Kwame Rowe handed down the sentence after a wrenching day of victim impact statements from family members of the four students killed and other students who were at the school that day, The Detroit News reported.
Ethan Crumbley, 17, pleaded guilty last year to the deaths of Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17; and wounded six other classmates and a teacher in the November 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School, as CrimeOnline reported. Statements came from 29 people, all of whom asked Rowe for a life sentence without parole.
Crumbley, speaking to court at the end, asked for the same thing, The News said.
“Any sentence that they ask for, I ask that you impose it on me,” Crumbley said. “I want them to be happy, I want them to feel secure and safe. I don’t want them to worry another day.”
“I am a really bad person. I have done terrible things that no one should ever do,” he said. “I have lied, been not trustworthy, I’ve hurt many people. … I’m not denying it. That’s not who I plan on being. … I do plan to be better. I don’t know if you’ll believe that.”
Rowe told Crumbley that his actions — from the extensive planning he undertook to killing forcing Shilling to kneel next to his friend in the boy’s bathroom before he shot him — were almost beyond concerning.
“The court cannot ignore the deep trauma the defendant caused to the state of Michigan, but particularly the Oxford community,” Rowe said. “The terror that he caused in the state of Michigan and in Oxford is a true act of terrorism.”
Crumbley, he said, is the rare juvenile who cannot be rehabilitated and deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.
“Our family has been navigating our way through complete hell,” said Buck Myre, father of Tate Myre, before the sentencing. “We wear the pain like a heavy coat, constant reminders every day. Every hour is the darkest time of the day. … We are miserable. We miss Tate. Our family has a permanent hole in it that can never be fixed.”
Keegan Gregory, the boy next to Justin Schilling when he was shot in the bathroom, told the court he suffers from survivor’s guilt.
“I feel the guilt of surviving. If it wasn’t Justin’s life that was taken, it would have been mine. I feel guilty being alive,” he said.
Kylie Ossege was a senior when she was shot. She described lying on the ground, unable to move, next to Hana St. Juliana. She said she pleaded with her friend to keep breathing, but it was 15 minutes until paramedics arrive. Ossege was hospitalized until January and still lives in constant pain.
“My life has changed its path entirely,” she said. “However, your honor, I refuse to let the cowardly acts of a person impact the rest of my life. … No one will ever take my happiness away from me, because I am the strongest person I know.”
Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were not at the hearing. They are awaiting trial on involuntary manslaughter charges relating to ignoring signs of trouble with their son and providing him with the gun he used in the shooting. Their request to attend the sentencing hearing was denied.