Accused Michigan school shooter must remain in adult prison, but may resume

Ethan Crumble’s guardian said he could even take a college course.

A 15-year-old boy accused of multiple counts of homicide resulting from mass shootings at Oxford High School in Michigan must remain in an adult prison, a judge ordered Thursday because the teen’s court-appointed guardian said it now depends on the prison. Give him an education.

During the hearing on Zum, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Quame Roy upheld his earlier order that Ethan Crombley would not be transferred to a juvenile facility at this time.

“No additional information or new information has been presented to the court that would impede this court’s opinion and order of March 1, 2022. Therefore, the court will continue to place the defendant in the Oakland County Jail,” Roe said.

Crumble’s lawyer, Paulette Michelle Loftin, told Rock that a psychological assessment of the teenager had been completed and that a written report of the results was expected to be available within 45 days. Crumble’s lawyers said in January that they were planning to mount a madness defense.

The boy has been charged with 24 counts as an adult, including four counts of murder and one count of terrorism. He is being held in isolation at Oakland County Jail under surveillance of behavior, which is one step below the suicide clock, and must be checked every 15 minutes, officials said.

Officials said at an earlier hearing that Crombley had been released only to take a bath from his cell or to talk to visitors and his attorneys. He spends most of his time reading Harry Potter books, officials said.

Crombley’s court-appointed guardian, Deborah H. McClelland raised concerns Thursday that prosecutors continue to say in court filings that the defendant’s parents are responsible for educating him.

Crumble’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumble, have both been jailed since November 30, 2021, for allegedly shooting their son at Oxford High School in the Detroit suburb of Oxford Township. The parents, accused of ignoring or failing to notice a warning signal about their son a few months before the shooting, have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. They allegedly bought their son a 9-mm Sig Sauer pistol a few days before he used it in the shooting.

Six more students and a teacher were injured in the shooting.

McClellow, quoting a law from Michigan, told Rock that it was “important to keep in mind” that it was now the prison’s responsibility to educate Ethan Crombley.

“It’s no longer a parent’s responsibility,” McClellow said.

McKelvey said he received an email Tuesday from a senior assistant at Oakland County Corporation Council informing Crumble about the educational programs available to him in prison.

“He (Crumbley) is thinking about which way to go,” McClevy said.

One option, he said, is through cyber school and the other through a program offered by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, where Crumbley can study his GED with his high school equivalent exam or a laptop computer provided by the jail.

“Once she has earned a high school equivalence diploma or GED, she will be able to continue in that program to be able to do some community college courses,” McClevy said.

Van Johnson, a Detroit Civil Attorney representing Tate Meyer’s parents, one of four students who accused Crombley of being shot, agreed that under state law, Oakland County Crombley must be educated until he is 18 years old.

“Imagine parents can’t teach,” Johnson told ABC News on Thursday.

He said Mayer’s parents, William and Sherry Mayer, did not comment on Crombley’s decision on education, adding: “They are too smart to get involved.”

Judge Roy Crombley has set April 21 for the next hearing, whether he should be in jail or transferred to juvenile facility for the necessary monthly reassessment.

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