What to know ahead of James and Jennifer Crumbley’s preliminary hearing
OXFORD, Mich. (FOX 2) – James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, will return to court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.
The couple were ordered to stand trial last month after a two-day preliminary examination. James and Jennifer Crumbley face manslaughter charges stemming from the fatal attack their son is accused of carrying out at his high school on November 30, 2021.
Related: Prosecutors say Ethan Crumbley ‘worshipped’ Hitler and tortured animals
Why are James and Jennifer Crumbley facing charges?
Numerous pieces of evidence were presented during the preliminary examination suggesting that James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to address concerns about Ethan Crumbley’s mental health. The couple are also accused of buying a gun for the 15-year-old.
According to authorities, Jennifer Crumbley posted on Instagram that she was at a shooting range firing a gun that was her son’s Christmas present days before the shooting at Oxford High School.
Read: Prosecutors say Ethan Crumbley’s parents ignored signs of abuse for months
During the preliminary examination, text messages between Jennifer Crumbley and Ethan Crumbley were presented.
These texts showed that for months before the shooting, the teenager was texting his mother about hallucinations he was having while home alone. On several occasions, she did not acknowledge receipt of these messages.
Read the text messages here.
Text messages between Ethan Crumbley and a close friend also revealed insight into the teenager’s relationship with his parents.
In an exchange on April 5, 2021, prosecutors described “quite a few” discussions about his mental state in which Ethan Crumbley told his friend he was “f—– up,” that he had hallucinations, and had asked his parents for help.
“Now my mom thinks I’m on drugs,” one text read, according to the prosecutor. “She thinks that’s why I’m so angry and so sad all the time, and she’s not worried about my mental health. They make me feel like the problem.”
Another text from Ethan Crumbley to his friend said he had asked his father, James, “to take me to the doctor but he just gave me some pills and told me to suck them”, said read the prosecutor during the hearing.
At one point, Ethan told his friend in a text, “I need help. I was thinking of calling 911 so I can get to the hospital but then my parents would be really pissed off,” according to the exchange read. to the court.
Read: Ethan Crumbley told his parent friends ‘makes me feel like the problem’
During the review, Oxford High School counselor Shawn Hopkins also testified about James and Jennifer Crumbley.
Hopkins said he spoke with Ethan Crumbley after drawings and words were found during an assignment the day of the school shooting.
Hopkins said he “was concerned about suicidal ideation” and contacted Ethan Crumbley’s parents to meet with them.
Jennifer and James Crumbley saw the note and advised that Hopkins was concerned for her well-being. Hopkins testified that he did not recall Jennifer talking to his son during the roughly 15-minute meeting and that James went over the math homework with Ethan and said, “You have people to talk to. “
Continued: How Ethan could be used by the prosecution and defense
The counselor testified that he told the couple that Ethan needed mental health support “as soon as possible, today if possible”. But he noted that Jennifer had said she had to return to work that day and that it would not be possible within that time frame.
“I was surprised by that,” the adviser testified. He added that he then told the parents, “I want him seen within 48 hours. I will follow up.”
What did James and Jennifer Crumbley do after the Oxford shooting?
In court, a 911 call made by James Crumbley was played. During the call, he told the dispatcher that his gun was missing and that he thought his son might be the school shooter.
Witnesses including Jennifer Crumbley’s boss and colleagues said she was told she had to quit her job because there was a shooting at her son’s school.
About 20 minutes after leaving work, her boss Andrew Smith told her she had texted him: “The gun is gone and so are the bullets.”
Horse farm owner Kira Pennock said Jennifer Crumbley texted her about an hour after the school shooting saying she wouldn’t be going to a practice session that day . When Pennock asked if Ethan Crumbely was okay, Jennifer Crumbely didn’t respond. However, Pennock testified that Jennifer Crumbley texted him a few hours later saying she had to sell her horses.
After charges were laid against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the couple disappeared and a manhunt began. They were arrested early Dec. 4, 2021, at a Detroit apartment building after someone spotted their vehicle and called 911.
The couple’s lawyers said they left the area for their safety.
What’s next for James and Jennifer Crumbley?
During the pre-trial hearing, the defense will have the opportunity to address any issues related to the case before it goes to trial.
There may also be motions regarding evidence.
Plea negotiations can also be discussed.
What’s next for Ethan Crumbley?
Ethan Crumbley has waived his preliminary hearing, so his case will go to trial.
He is currently being held in Oakland County Jail awaiting trial as no date has been set.