UNITED STATES NEWS

Michigan school shooter who killed 4 was not mentally ill, doctor testifies

Aug 17, 2023, 9:09 PM | Updated: Aug 18, 2023, 9:22 am

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A teenager who killed four students at a Michigan school in 2021 was not mentally ill at the time and understood the tragic consequences of his actions, a psychiatrist testified Friday as prosecutors tried to bolster their argument that a life prison sentence fits the mass shooting.

“I can absolutely understand how it would be difficult to imagine how a sane person could commit mass murder,” said Dr. Lisa Anacker, who evaluates criminal defendants at a state psychiatric hospital. “But the research does show us that mental illness does not account for most of the violence in our country.”

She said Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time, communicated clearly with police immediately after the Oxford High School shooting, followed commands and showed no signs of bizarre behavior.

A reference to “demons” in a video that he made on the eve of the shooting was a reference to his “idol,” a Florida school shooter, not himself, Anacker said.

“I asked the defendant if he was hallucinating at the time of the shooting. He told me he was not,” she testified.

Anacker appeared at the fourth and final day of a hearing to determine whether the teenager will get a life sentence. An immediate decision was not expected.

Crumbley, now 17, pleaded guilty to murder, terrorism and other crimes. Because of his age, he can’t automatically be given a life prison term. Oakland County Judge Kwame Rowe must consider his maturity, mental health, tumultuous family life and other factors set by the U.S. Supreme Court.

His attorneys are arguing that he can be rehabilitated while in prison and should receive a sentence giving him an opportunity for parole some day.

“Ethan’s brain is still maturing,” psychologist Colin King said on Aug. 1.

King said the shooter was like a “feral child” because of his home life and mentally ill when he attacked students and staff at Oxford High.

Rowe still can order a life sentence, but it would be rare for a Michigan teen. Crumbley otherwise would face a minimum prison sentence between 25 years and 40 years, followed by eligibility for parole.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are separately charged with involuntary manslaughter. They are accused of buying a gun for their son and ignoring his mental health.

During previous days of testimony, prosecutors focused on the chilling details of the crime. Ethan Crumbley had made a video, declaring in blunt words what he would do the next day at this school.

The judge listened to eyewitness accounts from four people, including a staff member who was wounded and a student who saved a wounded girl. Besides the deaths of four students, seven other people were shot.

There were opportunities to prevent the tragedy. No one checked the shooter’s backpack for a gun that day, although he was pulled into a meeting with his parents and school staff because of his violent drawings. He was allowed to remain in school.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwritez

United States News

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

22 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

43 minutes ago

(Suspect mugshot via @KPRC2Bryce/X)...

Associated Press

Texas police arrest suspect in abduction of 12-year-old girl who was found safe after 8 days

Police in Texas have arrested a man suspected in the disappearance of a girl who was missing for eight days before she was safely located.

2 hours ago

FILE - A voting sign is seen near a voting center at Croft Baptist Church, Feb. 24, 2024, in Sparta...

Associated Press

A chunk of Republican primary and caucus voters say they wouldn’t vote for Trump as the GOP nominee

About 1 in 10 early contest voters who said they supported Trump in the 2020 general election said they wouldn’t be doing so this year.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

2 police horses on the lam cause traffic jam on I-90 in Cleveland area

CLEVELAND (AP) — Drivers on an Ohio interstate came upon an unusual traffic hazard over the weekend — a pair of police horses trotting against traffic on the highway. The two animals on the lam caused an unusual traffic jam Saturday afternoon as they wove through slowing traffic and then stopped it on Interstate 90 […]

8 hours ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Michigan school shooter who killed 4 was not mentally ill, doctor testifies