15-Year-Old Michigan School Shooting Suspect Charged as an Adult

The 15-year-old suspect faces 24 felony counts, including terrorism causing death.,

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Here are all the charges against the suspect in the Oxford High School shooting.

Wreaths were placed on a fence near Oxford High School to honor the students who died in the shooting.
Wreaths were placed on a fence near Oxford High School to honor the students who died in the shooting.Credit…Nick Hagen for The New York Times
  • Dec. 1, 2021, 7:43 p.m. ET

Ethan Crumbley, the suspect in the deadly mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, was arraigned in Oakland County on Wednesday on 24 felony counts. Though Mr. Crumbley is 15, prosecutors charged him as an adult.

The list is not final, and can be amended later by prosecutors or the court. Here is a rundown of the counts that were listed at the arraignment.

ONE COUNT

Michigan’s antiterrorism law defines an act of terrorism as a willful and deliberate act that meets these conditions:

  • The act would be considered a violent felony under state law;

  • The person who commits it knows or has reason to know that it is dangerous to human life;

  • The act is intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or to influence a unit of government through intimidation or coercion.

When an act of terrorism causes death, it is generally punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole. But for a defendant who was under 18 at the time of the crime, as the suspect was, the law gives prosecutors the option of asking instead for a maximum sentence of up to 60 years and a minimum of at least 25 years.

FOUR COUNTS

One of the ways Michigan law defines first-degree murder is any “willful, deliberate and premeditated killing.” At the arraignment on Wednesday, prosecutors listed one count for each of the four people who by that time had died as a result of the shooting.

First-degree murder is generally punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole. But as with the terrorism count, for a defendant who was under 18 at the time of the crime, the law gives prosecutors the option of asking instead for a maximum sentence of up to 60 years and a minimum of at least 25 years.

SEVEN COUNTS

Michigan law defines this crime simply as assaulting another person with the intention of murdering the person. At the arraignment, prosecutors listed one count for each of the seven surviving victims of the shooting.

The law provides wide latitude in punishing this crime, allowing for prison sentences “of life or any number of years.”

12 COUNTS

Under Michigan law, with some exceptions that do not apply to this case, a person who carries or possesses a firearm when committing or attempting to commit a felony would be guilty of this additional crime if convicted of the underlying felony. It, too, is a felony.

At the arraignment, prosecutors listed one firearm possession count to go with each of the terrorism, murder and assault counts — 12 in all.

This crime is punishable by two years in prison on first conviction, and the sentence comes with some special provisions. It cannot be suspended; it must be served before the sentence for the underlying felony (they cannot run concurrently), and there is no parole or probation permitted for the firearm possession sentence.

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