Ethan Crumbley: Preliminary hearing for Michigan high school shooting suspect adjourned
Prosecutors accepted the waiver and Judge Nancy Carniak said she would take the case to court for trial and a hearing would take place within the next two weeks to appoint a judge.
Crumbley, 15, is accused of opening fire on 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.
During a preliminary examination, a judge should have decided – before sending the case to trial – whether prosecutors had probable reasons to show that a crime had been committed and that the accused had committed the crime.
Neither prosecutors nor Crumbley’s representatives explained during Friday’s proceedings why they wanted to waive the preliminary hearing.
On Friday, Carniak said Crumbley’s bail would be processed within the next two weeks, under new federal law.
Jennifer and James Crumbley have a motions hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon where bail terms are expected to be discussed.
A disturbing timeline of events
In a timeline set in early December as to why Crumbley’s parents were charged, Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald said James Crumbley purchased the gun on November 26.
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 during the parents’ indictment on the 4th. December.
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.
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.
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
“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, which came in response to a request from the Crumbleys for a modified bond, details how the couple were more than $ 11,000 in arrears on their house payments, sold their horses, and had “already shown that they s ‘would run away if they got the chance. ” The file also indicates that the parents had four cell phones at the time of their arrest and “attempted to destroy one of the phones.”
“Based on these facts, we firmly believe that the bond between James and Jennifer Crumbley has been properly established,” Oakland County 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 looking after 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 Aya Elamroussi, Sonia Moghe and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.