DETROIT (AP) — A teenager accused of killing four fellow students and injuring more at a Michigan high school is expected to plead guilty to murder next week, authorities said Friday.
Ethan Crumbley had created images of violence during a classroom assignment last November but was not sent home from Oxford High School in southeastern Michigan. He pulled out a gun a few hours later and committed a mass shooting.
“We can confirm that the shooter is expected to plead guilty to all 24 charges, including terrorism, and the prosecutor has notified the victims,” said David Williams, chief assistant prosecutor in Oakland County.
Crumbley, 16, is due in court Monday. A message seeking comment was left for his lawyers.
He was 15 when the shooting occurred. Crumbley’s parents had been summoned to school that day to discuss their son’s ominous writings. A teacher had found a drawing with a gun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
James and Jennifer Crumbley had said they would get him counseling but declined to take Ethan home, according to investigators.
Oxford High is roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Crumbley is charged with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder and 12 counts related to use of a gun.
A first-degree murder conviction typically brings an automatic life prison sentence in Michigan. But teenagers are entitled to a hearing where their lawyer can argue for a shorter term.
Separately, James and Jennifer Crumbley are facing involuntary manslaughter charges, a rare case of prosecutors trying to make parents responsible for a school shooting. They are accused of making a gun accessible to their son and ignoring his need for mental health treatment.
“Put simply, they created an environment in which their son’s violent tendencies flourished. They were aware their son was troubled, and then they bought him a gun,” prosecutors said in a court filing.
The Crumbleys said they were unaware of Ethan’s plan. They also dispute that the gun was easy to get at home.
Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling were killed, while six students and a teacher were injured.
In court documents, prosecutors have revealed portions of Ethan Crumbley’s personal journal. He said his grades were poor and that his parents hated each other and had no money.
“This just furthers my desire to shoot up the school or do something else,” the teen wrote.
All three Crumbleys are being held at the Oakland County jail, though Ethan is kept away from adults.
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