The hearing was postponed last month after prosecutors said they needed more time to examine a large amount of evidence before sharing it with defense attorneys. The prosecution had about 500 pages of reports and witness statements that it had shared with defense attorneys at the time, Assistant District Attorney Marc Keast said on Dec. 13.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office provided the prosecutor’s office with a flash drive containing more than 340 items, including in-car video and recorded witness statements.
Investigators needed to conduct more witness interviews at the time, he said, some of which had been delayed because “school children were victimized and traumatized,” Keast said.
At the time, the judge also denied a request by defense attorneys for Crumbley to be transferred from the Oakland County Jail to Children’s Village, which houses minors. The lawyers had argued that he could listen to other adults, which they said violated the statute for minors detained in adult facilities.
The shooting took place at Oxford High School on November 30.
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 murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm while committing a felony. At his arraignment, the judge pleaded not guilty at the request of Crumbley’s attorney.
The murdered students were Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16 years old; Hana St. Juliana, 14 years old; and Justin Shilling, 17, authorities said.
A haunting chronology of events
The Crumbleys were being held on bail of $ 500,000 each. They were arrested following a manhunt that began when they failed to appear in court for their initial arraignment.
In a schedule released in early December explaining why Crumbley’s parents had been charged, McDonald said James Crumbley purchased the gun on Black Friday, November 26. A store clerk confirmed that Crumbley’s son Ethan was with him, the prosecutor said.
The parents gave the gun to their son as an early Christmas gift, the prosecutor alleged.
Ethan Crumbley “had full access to this weapon” and the parents “did not secure (the weapon) and allow him free access to it,” McDonald said during the parents’ arraignment. One of the parents’ attorneys, Shannon Smith, responded during the hearing saying, “The gun was actually locked.”
“When the prosecution asserts that this child had free access to a weapon, that is absolutely false,” Smith said.
McDonald has alleged that the day before the shooting, an Oxford high school teacher spotted Ethan Crumbley searching for ammunition online on his phone.
The teacher notified school officials, who contacted parents by phone and email but 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. He “alarmed her to the point that he took a picture of her with his cell phone,” the prosecutor said.
The image prompted school officials to meet with the accused assailant and his parents, who were instructed to help counsel their son within 48 hours, school officials said. Parents resisted the idea of removing their son from school, McDonald said, and he was allowed to return to the classroom.
Surveillance cameras captured the violence.
Surveillance cameras at the school captured much of the violence, prosecutors said.
Just before 12:51 p.m. on the day of the shooting, Crumbley could be seen with a backpack, then a minute or two later, he emerged from a bathroom without the backpack but with a gun in hand, Keast said during the reading. of Crumbley charges.
Crumbley then allegedly started walking “methodically and deliberately” down the hallways and pointing a gun at the students and firing the gun, Keast said.
When the students began to flee, Crumbley allegedly continued to go down the hall at a “methodical pace” and fired inside classrooms and at students who had not escaped, Keast said.
This continued for another four or five minutes, and Crumbley finally went to another bathroom, Keast said.
Dozens of terrified students called 911 during the shooting. When officers arrived, the suspect laid down his weapon and surrendered, authorities said.
Prosecutors: Parents ignored signs their son was a threat
“The defendants were in a better position than anyone else in the world to prevent this tragedy, but they did not,” the document says.
The filing came in response to a request from the Crumbleys for modified bail and details how the couple are more than $ 11,000 behind on their home payments, have sold their horses, and “have already shown that they will run away if given the chance. “. . “The filing also details that the parents had four cell phones at the time of their arrest and” attempted to destroy one of the phones. “
“Based on those facts, we strongly believe that bail for James and Jennifer Crumbley was set appropriately,” Oakland County, Michigan, Assistant Chief Attorney David Williams said in a statement.
The filing further alleged that when the Crumbleys dropped out of their son’s school on November 30, before the shooting started, they knew their son was depressed and “fascinated with guns.” The presentation details Crumbley’s state of mind in the months leading up to the shooting and says his parents knew he was “sadder than usual.”
While their son struggled, his parents spent several hours a night, three to four nights a week, in a stable tending their horses and that one of the parents was having extramarital affairs, prosecutors alleged.
Prosecutors also allege that Ethan Crumbley had been torturing animals and had a “bird’s head in a jar on the floor of his bedroom.”
“Instead of paying attention to their son and getting him help, they bought him a gun,” the record says.
CNN’s Sonia Moghe and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.