The attorney for the Oxford High School shooter says she believes her client made the right choice Monday after he pleaded guilty to the 24 felony charges against him.
The Oxford High School student charged with first-degree murder, terrorism and more in connection with the Nov. 30, 2021, fatal mass shooting pleaded guilty Monday to all charges during a court hearing. The shooter, 16-year-old Ethan Crumbley, admitted to fatally shooting four students and shooting and injuring, with an intent to murder, seven other people.
Crumbley’s attorney Paulette Michel Loftin said after Monday’s hearing that he “made the right decision today,” and that by changing his plea from not guilty to guilty, he’s trying to “take accountability for his actions.”
The shooter was scheduled to go on trial in January of next year, where he was expected to “to assert the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense.”
“Originally, we filed a notice of insanity, and based on the conversations that we’ve had and the review of the discovery, we felt it appropriate to withdraw that and have him plead guilty today,” Loftin said.
The shooter is scheduled to appear in court again in February for a Miller hearing, where the judge will consider arguments from both sides before handing down a sentence. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled sometime after the February hearing.
When asked to make a statement addressing the families of the victims, the defense attorney said that she doesn’t think “there are any words that could make [the families] feel any better.” His attorney did say the shooter feels remorseful, though he appeared straight-faced and emotionless in court on Monday.
Loftin also suggested Monday that Crumbley did not specifically target the victims injured and killed in the Nov. 30 shooting. The attorney said the shooter “did not know them.”
It is still unknown if Crumbley will testify on his own behalf at the next hearing. Loftin said a decision has not yet been made.
It is also possible that the shooter may testify at the trial of his parents, who were also charged for their alleged role in the fatal mass shooting. It is possible Crumbley could be called as a witness in their trial, Loftin said, but it’s too soon to know.
The shooter’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are each being charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors accuse them of neglecting their son and his cries for help, and also of buying their son the weapon that was used in the mass shooting.
The parents’ trial is scheduled to begin in January 2023.
The Oxford shooter was charged as an adult and is now convicted of the following crimes Monday:
- One count of terrorism causing death;
- Four counts of first-degree murder;
- Seven counts of assault with intent to murder; and
- 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
You can see what Loftin had to say in the video player below.