Accused Michigan school shooter to stay in adult prison, but can return to school

Ethan Crumbley’s tutor said he could even take college classes.

The 15-year-old boy charged with multiple counts of murder following a November mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan must remain in an adult prison, a judge ordered on Thursday as the guardian The court-appointed teenager said it was now up to the prison to give him an education.

In a hearing held over Zoom, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame Rowe upheld his prior order that Ethan Crumbley should not be transferred to a juvenile facility at this stage.

“The court has not received any additional information or new information that would cause this court to interfere with its opinion and order of March 1, 2022. Accordingly, the court will continue with the placement of the defendant in the county jail. ‘Oakland,” Rowe said.

Crumbley’s lawyer, Paulette Michel Loftin, told Rowe that a psychiatric evaluation of the teenager had been completed and a written report of the results should be available in 45 days. Crumbley’s attorneys said in January they plan to mount an insanity defense.

The boy is charged as an adult with 24 counts, including four counts of murder and one terrorism charge. He is being held in solitary confinement at Oakland County Jail on behavioral watch, which is one step below suicide watch, and must be checked every 15 minutes, officials said.

Officials said at an earlier hearing that Crumbley was only released from his cell to shower or speak with visitors and his lawyers. He spends most of his time reading Harry Potter books, officials said.

Deborah H. McKelvy, Crumbley’s court-appointed guardian, expressed concern Thursday that prosecutors continue to say in court filings that it is the responsibility of the defendant’s parents to provide him with an education.

Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are both jailed on charges stemming from the November 30, 2021 mass shooting of their son which was allegedly committed at Oxford High School in the Detroit suburb of Oxford Township. The parents are charged with four counts each of manslaughter after they allegedly overlooked or failed to notice warning signs about their son in the months leading up to the shooting. They also allegedly bought their son a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol as a gift just days before he used it in the shooting.

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

McKelvy, citing a Michigan law, told Rowe “it’s important to keep in perspective” that it’s now the prison’s responsibility to provide an education for Ethan Crumbley.

“It’s no longer the parents’ responsibility,” McKelvy said.

McKelvy said he received an email on Tuesday from a senior assistant to the Oakland County Society’s attorney advising Crumbley of educational programs available to him in prison.

“He (Crumbley) is thinking about the path he wants to go down,” McKelvy said.

She said one option is through an e-school and the other through a program offered by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, where Crumbley could study for her high school equivalency exam or her GED with a laptop provided by the prison.

“Once he gets the high school equivalency diploma or GED, then he can continue in that program so he can take some courses at a community college,” McKelvy said.

Ven Johnson, a Detroit civil attorney who represents the parents of Tate Myre, one of four students Crumbley allegedly shot and killed, agreed that under state law, Oakland County must provide at Crumbley an education until he was 18.

“Parents can’t provide an education, imagine that,” Johnson told ABC News on Thursday.

He said Myre’s parents, William and Sheri Myre, had no comment on the decision regarding Crumbley’s upbringing, adding, “They’re too smart to get involved in this.”

Judge Rowe has set Crumbley’s next hearing for April 21, for a required monthly reassessment on whether he should remain in jail or be moved to a juvenile facility.

ABC News

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