Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local/Regional News

Accused Oxford High School shooter to be held in adult jail

Ethan Crumbley attends a hearing at Oakland County circuit court in Pontiac, Mich., on Tuesday over where the teen will be detained as he awaits trial. Crumbley, 15, is charged with the fatal shooting of four fellow students and the wounding of seven others, including a teacher, at Oxford High School in November.
David Guralnick/Detroit News/Pool
/
via AP
Ethan Crumbley attends a hearing at Oakland County circuit court in Pontiac, Mich., on Tuesday over where the teen will be detained as he awaits trial. Crumbley, 15, is charged with the fatal shooting of four fellow students and the wounding of seven others, including a teacher, at Oxford High School in November.

The defense argued that the isolation the teenager is experiencing in adult jail is harmful to his mental health. The prosecution countered by saying he presents too much of a risk to be placed among the youth population.

An Oakland County court has ruled that Ethan Crumbley, the high school sophomore accused of killing four students and wounding seven people in a mass shooting at Oxford High School last year, must be held in adult jail until standing trial. The written decision comes after a court hearing last week over whether the teenager should be moved to youth housing.

The defense argued that the isolation Ethan Crumbley is experiencing in adult jail is harmful to his well-being. Defense attorney Paulette Michel Loftin said Crumbley’s mental health at the time of the alleged shooting should be taken into consideration.

“He expressed that he would surrender so that he could witness the pain and suffering that he caused.” — Markeisha Washington, Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor

“He was hearing voices,” said Loftin, “he was not sleeping, he was extremely anxious, he was not eating properly and that he had asked his parents to see a therapist.”

The defense said Crumbley was not seeing a therapist at the time of shooting, despite expressing a need for help to his parents.

The prosecution countered by claiming the teenager presents too much of a risk to be placed among the youth population. Markeisha Washington argued the point on the behalf of Oakland County prosecutors.

“In his journal he described the type of gun he needed,” says Washington, “who his first victim would be, and ultimately he expressed that he would surrender so that he could witness the pain and suffering that he caused.”

Washington said Crumbley also had outlined a detailed plan to rape and kill a female classmate, both in his journal and on a messaging thread.

The judge’s decision signals an agreement with Oakland County prosecutors on the housing issue. A start date for Ethan Crumbley’s trial has not yet been set. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were ordered last week to stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges.