The parents of the accused Oxford High School shooter, who are both facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the shooting, could appear in court for their trial as soon as October.
James Crumbley, 45, and Jennifer Crumbley, 44, are each facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal mass shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, in which his son is accused of shooting and injuring seven people, and killing four students. The couple have been lodged at the Oakland County Jail since the shooting, along with their son Ethan Crumbley — though all are being lodged separately.
The Crumbley parents appeared in court on Monday, June 27, for a hearing after they requested their trial to be moved from Oakland County elsewhere, arguing that they will not receive fair treatment in the county. The defense argues that the shooting and case evidence have been highly publicized, and could compromise the integrity of a local jury.
Judge Cheryl Matthews denied the defense’s request, however, arguing that the case’s publicity does not warrant a change of venue.
“The level of pretrial publicity, and the number of prospective jurors that might have been directly affected by the Oxford shooting alone is not enough to warrant a change of venue before conducting voir dire,” Judge Matthews said Monday. “Oakland County is not a small community and is sufficiently diverse to weigh against a finding of presumed prejudice. It’s well-established that pretrial publicity alone does not warrant a change of venue.”
More: Judge Denies request to move Crumbley parents’ trial out of Oakland County
During the Monday hearing, the judge said the tentative date for the Crumbley parents’ trial is Oct. 24, 2022. Matthews said the court will do everything in its power to begin the trial then, hoping to wrap up before the holiday season, and before the 1-year anniversary of the mass school shooting.
Defense attorneys appeared to believe that an Oct. 24 trial date is not achievable, though they did not formally request an adjournment Monday for the trial to take place at a later date. It is unclear if the defense will request that the trial be moved back.
Defense attorneys did state that they intend to call Ethan Crumbley to the stand in his parents’ trial. Ethan Crumbley’s trial date was rescheduled for Jan. 17, 2023, and was initially expected to take place in September this year.
James and Jennifer Crumbley are being accused of negligence and failing to take steps to prevent the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School that left four students dead: 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling. The Crumbleys are facing a charge in connection to each death.
Their son, the accused shooter, is facing 24 felony charges as an adult despite being a juvenile. Ethan Crumbley has been charged with the following:
One count of terrorism causing death;
Four counts of first-degree murder;
Seven counts of assault with intent to murder; and
12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The accused shooter was denied bond during his arraignment. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. A court filing in January revealed that Crumbley “intends to assert the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense and gives notice of his intention to claim such a defence.”
See: Complete Oxford High School shooting coverage
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