Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley should remain in adult custody, prosecutors say



Arguing that the Michigan teenager suspected of killing his classmates “wants to be remembered” for violence, a prosecutor has urged a judge not to let Ethan Crumbley be transferred to a juvenile facility from a county jail.

The Oakland County Juvenile Center, prosecutor Kelly Collins said, is a dangerously similar setting to Oxford High School, where Crumbley allegedly killed four students and injured seven people in November.

“He’s someone who wants to be remembered, and he’s thought about how he wants to be remembered – not as someone who has had a positive impact on society, not like someone who brought anything good or significant to the table, but he wants to be compared to people like Hitler or [serial killer Jeffrey] Dahmer or the Parkland school shooter,” Collins said.

Lawyers for Crumbley, 15, said being housed at the Oakland County Children’s Village would improve his access to education and better serve his frayed mental health. Crumbley is extremely isolated at the county jail, defense attorney Paulette Loftin said.

Oakland County Judge Kwamé L. Rowe said he will decide by next week where Crumbley should be held.

Crumbley’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, are being held in the same jail as their son, accused of ignoring warning signs from him and neglecting to prevent the November 30 shooting. Prosecutions have received wide attention because it is rare for parents to be charged for crimes allegedly committed by their children.

Why do parents of school shooting suspects rarely face charges? It’s “really difficult,” experts say.

At Tuesday’s hearing, prosecutors painted a picture of Crumbley as cruel, unrepentant and good at hiding his plans to harm others. Before the shooting, he described to a friend a plan to stalk, rape, torture and kill a classmate, prosecutor Markeisha Washington told the judge. In Crumbley’s diary, she says, he wrote that he intended to turn himself in to the police after the shooting so he could revel in the pain he had caused.

Collins argued that Crumbley, who is charged as an adult with murder and terrorism, has not changed since his incarceration. In a show of his desire for notoriety, she said, he asked in jail how he could get his “fan mail” and his “hate mail”. Crumbley loves his dark side, Collins argued.

“He lets people see who he wants them to see,” Washington said. “And only his relatives, like his parents, would understand or recognize him. He is fascinated by violence, weapons and seeing others suffer.

This personality type can make him dangerous in a juvenile facility, where he could influence at-risk children and where it would be harder to monitor his conversations with other people, Collins said.

“To put him in a school, a cafeteria, a classroom with minors, as he enjoyed it as he had planned for the day when he would take off his mask and execute these classmates, is an injustice that no one should have to endure,” she said.

Loftin maintained that his client had a mental health crisis before the shooting, including hallucinations, and that no one had helped him. Crumbley’s lawyers said he intends to present an insanity defense.

Because federal law requires separation between juveniles and adults in custody, Loftin said, Crumbley rarely interacts with anyone outside of his attorneys and exists in “extreme isolation.”

“For someone who has mental health issues, the isolation is horrible,” she said.

At the Oakland County Jail, Crumbley is being held in a concrete cell with a glass door, window, single bunk and lavatory, said County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Thomas Bida. He’s allowed to make phone calls, watch a TV next to his cell and use a tablet with apps for books – including some Harry Potter books he’s read – movies, games and messages personal, Bida said.

This tablet, Bida said, has an educational app associated with a nonprofit organization. Crumbley received no other educational materials and is not earning high school credits.

Minors at the children’s village attend classes, but the facility’s director, Heather Calcaterra, said she had several concerns about Crumbley living there. The center is understaffed, she said, and has never housed a resident accused of murdering people at a school.

Calcaterra said she was also concerned that Crumbley’s presence could traumatize other residents and that he could be a target.

“It was a devastating situation,” she said of the shooting. “And we don’t know what the defendant’s presence is on our campus, in the classrooms, on the units, how that may trigger or affect other young people in Oakland County.”

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Jennifer Crumbley, 43, and James Crumbley, 45, are due in court on Thursday to resume a hearing in their case. On Feb. 8, prosecutors showed online communications between the family and others intended to illustrate Ethan Crumbley’s troubling behavior and his parents’ focus on their own issues.

At one point, the messages show Crumbley texting his mother while home alone to say he was hallucinating a bowl-throwing demon. Jennifer Crumbley did not acknowledge the messages, prosecutors said. “Can you at least text back,” pleaded Ethan Crumbley.

Prosecutors said Crumbley’s parents weren’t concerned when they met with school counselors the morning of the shooting to discuss a drawing of a bloody body and a bullet found on the school’s math homework. their son. Refusing to kick Ethan Crumbley out of school, prosecutors said, James Crumbley resumed delivering DoorDash orders and Jennifer Crumbley returned to work at a real estate agency.

When they learned of the shooting hours later, James Crumbley rushed home to find a recently purchased gun was missing, according to a 911 call he made. Jennifer Crumbley screamed and ran from her office, her colleagues testified. Later that day, she texted her boss, “I need my job, please don’t judge me for what my son has done.”

“I was surprised by this text,” testified his boss, Andrew Smith. “I was surprised that she was worried about her job at the time. I thought she would be more worried about what was going on.


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