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Court Considers Life Without Parole Term For Michigan School Shooter

On the eve of his massacre, Oxford, Mi., school shooter Ethan Crumbley proclaimed, "There is no God. ... I am the demon ... I’m gonna open fire on everyone in the hallway." Later in jail, he cried out: "Why didn’t you stop it, God? Why didn’t you stop it when it happened? … I’m sorry, God!" These two versions of Crumbley were portrayed in court Tuesday during a hearing to determine whether life in prison without the possibility of parole is an appropriate sentence for the teenager accused of killing four classmates and injuring seven others in the 2021 mass shooting, reports USA Today. The hearing included never-before released video of Crumbley in jail, where he is seen strapped to a chair in a highly distressed state, jerking about. He is wearing a hood to protect jail workers from spit. In one, he is heard blaming God and crying out in distress repeatedly, "He could have stopped it" and "He could have saved her," while authorities try to calm him down.

A defense psychological expert said the video highlights the mental illness that Crumbley long battled without any help. "What we just witnessed — someone saying, 'God, why didn't you stop it?' That’s exactly how psychosis works," psychologist Colin King testified. "Somehow you don’t understand the outcome of the consequences. He’s having a panic attack and a break with reality." The defense is trying to convince the judge to give Crumbley a shot at parole one day, arguing his brain is still forming, and that he has the ability to change. The prosecution disagrees, arguing Crumbley never deserves to be free again. Several prosecution witnesses offered chilling accounts about the horror Crumbley subjected them to during his rampage. The witnesses included a teacher who was shot in the arm; a student who managed to escape after Crumbley ordered him out of a bathroom stall to go stand by another student he had fatally shot and lay dead in a pool of blood on the tile floor, and an assistant principal who encountered Crumbley in the hallway before trying to revive one of his victims who died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head.


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