Student accused of killing four at Oxford high school in Michigan to plead guilty

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The teenage student accused of murder four classmates in a shooting rampage at a Michigan high school last year is expected to plead guilty to two dozen charges, authorities said Friday, including terrorism — an extraordinarily unusual, if not unprecedented, charge in a school shooting.

Oakland County Chief Prosecutor David Williams said in a statement that Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 when he allegedly opened fire at a school in Oxford, Mich., and is being charged as an adult, is expected to plead guilty Monday to four counts of first degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, 12 counts of possession of a firearm and one count of terrorism-related death.

“There have been no plea deals, no reductions and no sentencing deals,” Williams said. In addition to the four killed, seven were injured in the shooting.

The terrorism charge was designed to address the harm done to those who suffered during the violent rampage but were not killed or injured, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald told The Washington Post in December 2021.

Michigan’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002 defines terrorism as an act that is “intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or influence or affect the conduct of the government or a governmental entity through intimidation or coercion.”

An attorney for Crumbley did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.

In another rare move, the alleged shooter’s parents were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. James and Jennifer Crumbley face allegations that they ignored warning signs in their son’s behavior and failed to secure the gun their son used, which investigators said was kept in an unlocked drawer in their bedroom. They pleaded not guilty in 2021 and in July filed a motion to have the case against them thrown out, arguing that they should never have been charged because their son is solely responsible for killing four people.

In January, Ethan Crumbley’s attorneys said they would pursue an insanity defense, according to a notice they filed obtained by The Associated Press.

At the time of the November 2021 shooting, it appeared to be the deadliest episode of campus violence in the United States in more than 18 months.

Timothy Bella, Kim Bellware, Meryl Kornfield and Annabelle Timsit contributed to this report.

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