Judge Shares New Details on Ethan Crumbley

Revelations came in ruling denying his lawyers' request he be moved to juvenile facility
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2022 11:52 AM CST
Updated Mar 2, 2022 8:11 AM CST
Prosecutors: School Shooting Suspect Also Planned a Rape
Ethan Crumbley attends a hearing at Oakland County circuit court in Pontiac, Mich., on Tuesday, over the 15-year-old's placement as he awaits trial.   (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP, Pool)

(Newser) Update: Ethan Crumbley will remain in adult jail for the duration of his murder case, and the ruling establishing that included previously undisclosed details about the alleged school shooter. In his Tuesday opinion, Oakland County Circuit Judge Kwame Rowe shared details gleaned from his review of Crumbley's texts and diary entries, writing that the teen had assembled Molotov cocktails and contemplated using them in an attack on Michigan's Oxford High School and that he had watched a video in which Crumbley tortured a fledgling bird to death. Crumbley's lawyers wanted the 15-year-old moved to a juvenile detention center, but Rowe found that "It is clear [the suggested center] is incapable of safely housing this defendant," reports the Detroit Free Press. Our original story from Feb. 23 follows:

Prosecutors say Ethan Crumbley planned to rape, torture, and kill a female classmate before ultimately opening fire at Michigan's Oxford High School on Nov. 30. The allegation was made Tuesday during a court hearing to determine whether the 15-year-old should remain in Oakland County jail as he awaits trial on 24 felonies, including murder and terrorism. Though he's pleaded not guilty, defense lawyers have filed a notice of insanity defense, with a mental health evaluation pending. In the meantime, they're pushing for Crumbley to be moved to a youth detention facility where he can interact with others. Lawyer Paulette Loftin argued that his "extreme isolation" in jail is doing him harm, per Detroit News.

In arguing that the teen is too dangerous to mix with others, prosecutors alleged that he planned to rape, torture, and kill a female classmate ahead of the shooting, per the Detroit Free Press. They also said Crumbley wrote of his plan to "maximize the number of kills" then surrender so he could witness the suffering he inflicted. "The scary thing is—I like being this f----- up," prosecutors quoted from a text he allegedly sent a friend. Loftin said her client was "extremely anxious," not sleeping, and had "asked his parents to see a therapist," per the News. "This is someone who was having a mental health crisis and no one did a thing," she said, per the Free Press.

Assistant Oakland Prosecutor Kelly Collins instead painted Crumbley as a calculated killer who "contemplated the pros and cons of going out in a blaze of glory." She said the teen, who has access to the internet and a tablet in jail, asked, "How do I get my fan mail? How do I get my hate mail?" He also allegedly used his devices to communicate his hearing date with others, writing, "Maybe you can watch me on TV," Collins said. "He wants that notoriety … He wants to be remembered." Collins also noted the youth detention facility, which has experienced eight escapes or walkaways over nine months, "mirrors the scene of the crime." Oakland County Circuit Judge Kwame Rowe is to issue a written decision on the placement next week. (Read more Ethan Crumbley stories.)

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