Oxford shooter sentencing is Friday: What laws have changed since killings
- Sentencing for Oxford High School shooter begins in Oakland County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Friday
- The student in November 2021 killed four of his classmates and wounded seven others
- Shooting prompted 2023 legislative gun reforms, uptick in school safety funding
Oxford High School mass murderer Ethan Crumbley is set to be sentenced Friday to up to life in prison for killing four of his classmates and injuring seven others.
The former student, now 17, has admitted using a gun he received as a present from his parents to kill Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Justin Shilling, 17, on Nov. 30, 2021.
Less than one year later, Crumbley pleaded guilty to all 24 charges against him, including first-degree murder and terrorism causing death.
The sentencing hearing for those crimes begins at 9 a.m. Friday and will be livestreamed.
Victims’ families and others impacted by the shooting will have the opportunity to testify before Oakland County Circuit Judge Kwamé Rowe announces his sentence.
- Ethan Crumbley pleads guilty to Oxford High School shooting. What to know.
- After Oxford shooting report, a call for stricter safety training requirements falters
- Oxford shooting probe: Three takeaways to improve Michigan school safety
While many could testify, prosecutors have said they expected the sentence to be handed down Friday.
What’s at stake
Crumbley would be only the eighth teen under 18 sentenced to life in prison in Michigan since 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such sentences require separate hearings for minors, according to the Oakland Press.
Rowe also could sentence the teen to 25 years to 40 years in prison, which would take into account the teen’s age and mental state at the time of the shooting.
In previous court testimony, prosecutors contended Crumbley was troubled but not mentally ill, citing planning that included mutilating birds, research, a desire to live to see his victims suffer and be remembered for his act.
Crumbley attorney Paulette Loftin has advocated for a sentence less than life, arguing the teen has severe mental problems and didn’t get the help he needed because his family is dysfunctional.
He is not “without the ability to be rehabilitated” the attorney said.
What’s happened since
After the shooting, dozens of proposed gun reform bills were introduced in the Michigan Legislature, but went nowhere because Republicans who oppose restrictions controlled both the House and the Senate.
Democrats took control of both chambers this year, and moved quickly on several gun bills that cited Oxford as well as a February 2023 shooting at Michigan State University that killed three students.
In April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed laws requiring gun owners with minors to securely store their firearms and establishing universal background checks for gun purchases.
A month later, Whitmer signed related “red flag” legislation allowing court orders to prevent people posing a risk to themselves or others from possessing a gun.
Supporters said the reforms, particularly the safe storage legislation, could prevent minors like Crumbley from accessing firearms.
Crumbley’s parents are facing involuntary manslaughter charges for allowing their son access to the gun used in the shooting.
Other Oxford-related policy measures included allowing schools to install temporary locks on doors without state approval, funding to Oxford High School for its recovery and millions of dollars allocated to school safety assessments, better mapping of school buildings for law enforcement and overall school security.
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