Judge orders Ethan Crumbley to remain in Oakland County Jail
A judge ordered Ethan Crumbley, accused in the Oxford High School shooting last year, to remain at the Oakland County Jail.
Ethan Crumbley's monthly pretrial review is required by law.
He has been in the Oakland County Jail since he was charged after the Nov. 30 shooting that left four Oxford students dead. Six students and a teacher also were wounded.
Crumbley, who turned 16 last month, has been charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree murder. His attorneys plan an insanity defense for their client, who faces up to life in prison if convicted as charged. He appeared via zoom from the jail wearing a mask.
Thursday's placement hearing was the fourth monthly review since February on Crumbley’s incarceration in the Oakland County Jail as defense attorneys have sought to have him transferred to the county’s Children’s Village facility for juvenile offenders or those faced with criminal offenses.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald and Children’s Village officials have maintained Crumbley being held in isolation in the adult jail “was and has been in the interest of justice.”
A legal brief filed Wednesday to Judge Kwame Rowe by Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Collins said since the last review on April 21, Crumbley and his court-appointed guardian ad-litem “have identified an agency to serve his educational needs so he can work towards obtaining his GED (general education degree) …”
The filing, dated May 18, said after reviewing supplemental information and factors, the court’s previous rulings “should not be disturbed. It remains in the interest of justice that the Defendant continues to be housed at OCJ where his needs are being and will continue to be met.”
After conferring with attorneys Thursday, Rowe said he felt the jail placement was appropriate and set the next pre-trial hearing for June 23.
Rowe has set a tentative trial date for Sept. 6 but noted that could change.
Crumbley's parents, James and Jennifer, also remain in the county jail. Both are charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors said, because they purchased a handgun for their son and failed to safely store the weapon away from him. He is believed to allegedly have used the weapon in the shooting.
Prosecutors have accused the couple of ignoring warning signs about their son, including pleas for mental health help and disturbing drawings on his homework.
On the day of the shooting, school officials had asked that the teen be sent to mental health counseling. The Crumbleys refused; school officials allowed him to remain in the building.
This week, Oxford Community Schools officials approved hiring a firm to investigate and review the shooting. The district has twice declined an offer by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to review the shooting. Nessel has expressed concern about whether the district will waive attorney-client privilege with the investigation and a report the district said will be made public.
Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17, were killed in the incident.
Meanwhile, Thursday's hearing came hours before Oxford High marked its graduation ceremony. Two seats will be left empty to symbolize Shilling and Baldwin, both seniors.
The school district has said it plans to move forward with a permanent memorial for the four slain students.