By David K Li and Selina Guevara – NBC News
The 17-year-old who killed four classmates at his high school in Michigan in a 2021 shooting was sentenced Friday to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 when he opened fire on Nov. 30, 2021, at Oxford High School, heard his sentencing after hearing harrowing statements from survivors and relatives of the victims. The sentence was read by Oakland County Judge Kwamé Rowe.
Crumbley had pleaded guilty to the shooting death of 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin; Tate Myre, 16; Hana Santa Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, as well as injuring seven other people.
Although he was found guilty of first-degree murder — a crime that automatically qualifies a person for life in prison without parole — Crumbley's age required a separate hearing to determine whether such a sentence was appropriate.
Judge Rowe found that Crumbley showed no potential for rehabilitation and that his crimes did not bear the "hallmarks of having been committed by a young man." Therefore, he ruled, he could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Under Michigan law, the judge could also sentence him to a minimum term of 25 to 40 years in prison, because he was under 18 when he committed felony murder, prosecutors said in a motion seeking life in prison.
Nicole Beausoleil, the mother of Baldwin, one of the victims, said she takes comfort in knowing that Crumbley didn't take his own life that day, as many killers do after a shooting, so he can suffer a lifetime behind bars.
"The name of that trash that took my daughter's life will never come out of my mouth. That life will cease to exist for me. Like garbage, it will be forgotten," Beausoleil said in court before the sentence was read. "I don't wish you dead, but I hope thoughts consume you."