Crumbley Parents Make Court Appearance

Judge rejects request to transfer alleged school shooter to juvenile facility
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2021 9:08 PM CST
Crumbley Parents Make Court Appearance
This undated combo of photos provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office shows James Crumbley, left, and Jennifer Crumbley.   (Oakland County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

(Newser) – The parents of alleged school shooter Ethan Crumbley appeared in court Tuesday, where prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed that a key hearing should be postponed. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said a scheduled Dec. 22 hearing to determine whether James and Jennifer Crumbley will stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges should be postponed to give both sides more time to sort through evidence and to give the community more time to heal, the Detroit Free Press reports. Judge Julie Nicholson set Feb. 8 as the new date. The parents were arrested following a manhunt days after their son allegedly killed four people at Oxford High School.

Prosecutors say their failings include buying a gun for their son days before the Nov. 30 shooting and failing to secure it. Ethan Crumbley, 15, and his parents are being held in the Oakland County Jail, though they do not have any contact with each other. The AP reports that the parents sat separated by lawyers during the Tuesday hearing, but James Crumbley mouthed "I love you" to his wife when the lawyers spoke to the judge. They have apparently been unable to afford $500,000 bond each. A new bond hearing was scheduled for Jan. 7.

Ethan Crumbley faces charges including first-degree murder and terrorism. At a hearing Monday, Judge Nancy Carniak rejected a defense request to transfer him from the adult jail to a youth facility, the Detroit News reports. Defense attorney Paulette Loftin argued that apart from the "isolated incident" of the mass shooting, Crumbley has no history of assaulting juveniles. "I still feel strongly that his conduct could be a menace to other juveniles," the judge said. "I think his placement is appropriate." (The high school has rejected the state AG's offer to conduct a review of actions leading up to the massacre.)

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