The parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley have hired a local defense attorney who previously represented Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University doctor serving a life sentence for abusing of gymnasts.
James and Jennifer Crumbley have hired Shannon Smith to defend them against four counts of manslaughter following the deaths of four students at Oxford High School in Michigan. Their son, Ethan Crumbley, 15, faces murder charges following the shooting.
Based in suburban Detroit, Smith defends people charged with sex crimes and other misdemeanors, according to her law firm’s website. She represented Nassar during his 2018 case which saw him plead guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct and receive a prison sentence of up to 175 years.
Smith’s legal partner, Mariell Lehman, also represents James and Jennifer Crumbley. Smith confirmed in an email that she and Lehman are representing the parents.
Smith’s website says she uses untraditional tactics to fight for the defendants.
“In the #metoo era, many people believe that all allegations should automatically be ‘believed,'” reads his online bio. “The prosecutions are aggressive and ruthless, and the mantra that most defense attorneys stick to in other types of cases – sit down, shut up and just defend – doesn’t work.”
USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee reached a $380 million settlement Monday with more than 500 Nassar victims.
The Crumbleys pleaded not guilty earlier this month after they were found hiding in a Detroit commercial building. Prosecutors said they did not intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted by school officials over drawings showing “blood everywhere” just hours before the shooting.
During their arraignment, Smith said his clients had no intention of fleeing and were “just as devastated as everyone else,” The Associated Press reported.
A judge imposed a combined bail of $1 million on the couple.