Oxford High School shooter pleads guilty to 24 felony charges

Guilty pleas override not guilty pleas previously entered in connection with mass shooting

Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, 16, appears in court for a pretrial hearing on Monday, Oct. 24, where he pleaded guilty to 24 felony charges against him, admitting to premeditated murder and shooting individuals with the intention of murdering them, among other charges. (WDIV)

The Oxford High School shooter pleaded guilty Monday morning to two dozen felony charges, including murder and terrorism.

Ethan Crumbley, 16, pleaded guilty during a pretrial court hearing on Oct. 24, to 24 charges against him in connection with last year’s fatal mass shooting at the high school. Four students were killed and seven people were injured when Crumbley opened fire during school hours.

A not guilty plea was previously entered on Crumbley’s behalf on all 24 counts. On Monday, defense attorneys spoke for the shooter, who was 15 years old at the time of the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting, and said Crumbley agrees to have the not guilty pleas replaced with guilty pleas.

Facing the judge, Crumbley was read the 24 charges against him and the sentencing for each, and pleaded guilty to all 24. A plea agreement had not been reached with prosecutors ahead of Monday’s court hearing, prosecutors said.

Watch the entire court hearing down below.

On Monday, Crumbley admitted to bringing a handgun to school on Nov. 30, 2021, which he kept in his backpack. While answering questions from prosecutors, Crumbley admitted to premeditated murder of the following four students who were killed in the mass shooting: 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.

Prosecutors ran through the entire list of charges, to all of which Crumbley admitted guilt. Crumbley was charged as an adult with the following crimes:

  • 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.

This is the first time that a U.S. school shooter has been convicted of terrorism.

The next court hearing has been scheduled, tentatively, for Feb. 9, 2023, in which the judge will consider Crumbley’s sentencing and how his age may play a role in what is called a Miller hearing. An actual sentencing date has not yet been set; the judge will set that date during the February hearing.

Victims will be allowed to make public statements during the sentencing hearing, the judge said.

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.”

The accused shooter admitted to having walked out of the bathroom at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021, with a 9 mm handgun and fired dozens of shots at people. Police say more than 30 shots were fired in the shooting, and three 15-round magazines were found.

The parents of the accused shooter are also facing criminal charges in connection with the fatal mass shooting. In addition to allegedly neglecting their son and his emotional and mental health needs, as prosecutors argue, James and Jennifer Crumbley are also accused of buying their son the handgun used in the shooting.

Ethan Crumbley admitted Monday that his parents purchased the firearm for him, but that he asked them to, picked it out himself and provided the money for the purchase.

James and Jennifer Crumbley each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the death of each student in the shooting. They are expected to go to trial in January of next year, though their attorneys are looking to get the case against them dismissed.

The latest: Parents of accused Oxford shooter ask Michigan Supreme Court to dismiss their case

Full court hearing


Find: Complete Oxford High School shooting coverage right here


About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.