Ethan Crumbley: Hearing on probable cause of Michigan high school shooting suspect set for Friday

Crumbley is accused of opening fire at Oxford High School with a 9mm handgun on November 30, killing four students and injuring six others and a teacher. The attack some 40 miles north of downtown Detroit was the deadliest shootout at a U.S. K-12 campus since 2018.

Crumbley is charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to kill and 12 counts of possession of a gun. fire during the commission of a crime.

On arraignment last month, the judge pleaded not guilty at the behest of Crumbley’s lawyer.

The students killed were Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, authorities said.

By the time Crumbley’s probable cause hearing was postponed on December 13, prosecutors had shared about 500 pages of reports and witness statements with defense attorneys, Deputy Prosecutor Marc Keast said at the time.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office provided the DA’s office with a USB drive containing more than 340 items, including on-board videos and recorded witness statements.

Investigators were to conduct more interviews with witnesses at the time, he said, some of whom had been delayed because “the children at school were victimized and traumatized,” Keast said.

The judge also denied at the time a request by defense lawyers to have Crumbley moved from Oakland County Jail to the Children’s Village, which houses minors. Lawyers had argued that he could hear other adults, which they said violated the status of juveniles held in adult facilities.

Crumbley’s parents have also been charged in connection with the shooting. James and Jennifer Crumbley each face four counts of manslaughter and have pleaded not guilty, with prosecutors accusing them of giving him easy access to the gun and ignoring signs that he was a threat.

The charges against the parents, Oakland County Attorney Karen McDonald said last month, “are intended to hold accountable those who contributed to this tragedy” and to send a message “that gun owners to fire have a responsibility “.

A disturbing timeline of events

Jennifer and James Crumbley have a motions hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon where bail terms are expected to be discussed.

They were held on bail of $ 500,000 each after their arrest following a manhunt that began when they failed to appear in court for their initial indictment.

In a timeline presented in early December explaining why Crumbley’s parents were charged, McDonald said James Crumbley purchased the gun on Black Friday, November 26. A store employee confirmed that Crumbley’s son Ethan was with him, the prosecutor said.

Parents of Michigan high school shooting suspect appear in court for manslaughter

The parents gave the gun to their son as an early Christmas present, the prosecutor said.

Ethan Crumbley “had full access to this gun,” and the parents “did not secure (the gun) and allow him free access,” McDonald said upon the parents’ indictment. One of the parents’ attorneys, Shannon Smith, countered at the hearing, saying: “The gun was actually locked.”

“When the prosecution says this child had free access to a gun, that is absolutely not true,” Smith said.

McDonald alleged that the day before the shooting, an Oxford high school teacher saw Ethan Crumbley searching for ammunition online on his phone.

Michigan authorities execute search warrant at home of man accused of assisting parents of alleged school gunman

The teacher informed school officials, who contacted parents by phone and email, but they did not respond.

Jennifer Crumbley later texted Ethan saying, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” McDonald said.

On the day of the shooting, another teacher found a drawing on Crumbley’s desk that essentially depicted a shooting, McDonald said. It “alarmed her to the point that she took a picture of it on her cell phone,” the prosecutor said.

The photo led school officials to hold a meeting with the accused gunman and his parents, who were tasked with helping provide counseling to their son within 48 hours, school officials said. Parents resisted removing their son from school, McDonald said, and he was allowed to return to class.

Surveillance cameras captured the violence

School surveillance cameras captured much of the violence, prosecutors said.

Michigan school shooting could have been avoided given warning signs, prosecutor says

Just before 12:51 p.m. on the day of the shooting, Crumbley could be seen with a backpack, and then a minute or two later came out of a bathroom without a backpack but with a gun in his hand Keast said during Crumbley’s arraignment.

Crumbley then allegedly began “methodically and deliberately” pacing the halls, pointing a gun at the students and firing the gun, Keast said.

When the students began to flee, Crumbley reportedly continued down the hall at a “methodical pace” and shot inside classrooms and at students who had not escaped, Keast said.

This continued for another four or five minutes, and Crumbley eventually went to another bathroom, Keast said.

Dozens of terrified students called 911 during the shooting. When deputies arrived, the suspect dropped the gun and surrendered, officials said.

Prosecutors: Parents ignored signs their son was a threat

In a case filed last month, prosecutors alleged that Crumbley’s parents “deliberately ignored their son’s needs and well-being and the threat he posed to others.”

“The defendants were in a better position than anyone in the world to prevent this tragedy, but they did not,” the file said.

The filing came in response to a demand from the Crumbleys for a modified bond and it details how the couple are over $ 11,000 behind on their house payments, sold their horses and “already showed they would run away.” if they had the chance. ” The file also states that the parents had four cell phones at the time of their arrest and “attempted to destroy one of the phones.”

Parents of suspect who shot Michigan deliberately ignored signs that their son was a threat, prosecutors say

“Based on these facts, we firmly believe that the connection for James and Jennifer Crumbley has been properly established,” Oakland County, Michigan, Assistant Chief Attorney David Williams said in a statement.

The record further alleged that when the Crumbleys left their son’s school on November 30, before the shooting began, they knew their son was depressed and “fascinated by guns.” The file detailed Crumbley’s state of mind in the months leading up to the shooting, saying his parents knew he was “sadder than usual”.

As their son struggled, his parents spent several hours a night, three to four nights a week, in a barn tending to their horses and one of the parents was having extramarital affairs, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also allege Ethan Crumbley tortured animals and kept a “baby bird’s head in a jar on his bedroom floor.”

“Instead of paying attention to their son and asking him for help, they bought him a gun,” the file says.

CNN’s Sonia Moghe and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

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