PONTIAC, Mich. — A judge Tuesday denied a request by 17-year-old school shooter Ethan Crumbley to dismiss a prosecutors' motion to seek a sentence of life without parole for killing four fellow students.

Crumbley has pleaded guilty to 24 charges, including one count of terrorism and four counts of first-degree murder, for the November 2021 attack at Oxford High School, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. Four students were killed, and six more students and a teacher were injured. Crumbley was 15 at the time.

A first-degree murder conviction typically brings an automatic no-parole sentence in Michigan. But teenagers are entitled to a hearing where their lawyer can raise immaturity, mental condition, family life and other issues while arguing for a shorter term.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Kwame Rowe denied Crumbley’s request to take the life-without-parole condition off the table as he awaits sentencing, news outlets reported.

“The Court finds that defendant’s argument is not persuasive and is without merit,” Rowe wrote in his two-page opinion, adding he “cannot and will not” dismiss the prosecution’s motion for life without parole.

Rowe also denied Crumbley’s request to keep school eyewitnesses of the shooting from testifying at the upcoming hearing when the judge will decide whether life without parole is appropriate. The prosecution plans to have 12 students and two staff members testify at that hearing, among others.

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