Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, 15, appeared in court via Zoom on Monday for a hearing where his lawyer made the bold request of asking for him to be moved to juvenile detention so that he can continue with his education, two weeks after he killed four classmates in a cold-blooded gun rampage.
Crumbley said nothing as he appeared via Zoom, wearing a COVID-19 mask, his glasses and an orange jumpsuit.
He is being held on four first degree murder charges and charges of terrorism and aggravated assault for the shooting at Oxford High School on November 30. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley have been charged with manslaughter for not ensuring that he could not access their guns. They have hired a private attorney while their son is being represented by a public defender.
Ethan now has a court-appointed guardian, Deborah McKelvy, who on Monday asked the judge if he could be moved out of the Oakland County Jail, where he is being held among 939 other inmates, including his parents.
‘I’m not being humorous but he could still be in school. He is still 15-years-old. I’m imploring you, he should be allowed to go back to the village,’ she begged.
Ethan Crumbley appeared via Zoom in court on Monday from the Oakland County Jail in Michigan. He is being held on four counts of murder, a single terrorism charge and other charges of aggravated assault
Crumbley’s court appearance on Monday. His guardian, Deborah McKelvy, said: ‘I’m not being humorous… he could still be in school.’ His attorney, Paulette Loftin, middle, agreed
Judge Nancy Carniak denied the request, calling him a ‘menace’ to other juveniles. Crumbley killed four classmates at close range just two weeks ago
His lawyer, Paulette Loftin, agreed and called the shooting an ‘isolated incident.’
‘I honestly do not believe that my client should be considered a menace to other juveniles. This one isolated incident is all that we are looking at today.
‘There are other juveniles housed at children’s village charged with murder.
Ethan’s attorney is public defender Paulette Michel Loftin
‘This is someone who has never been in trouble before. This is not someone who has a history of assaulting kids his age or any other negative contact with his peers,’ she said.
McKelvy also complained that Ethan was exposed to adult ‘sounds’ in the adult prison that he is too young to hear.
It’s unclear what type of sounds she was referring to.
Judge Nancy Carniak denied the request, calling him a ‘menace’ to other kids.
‘His conduct could be a menace to other juveniles. I think his placement is appropriate.’
The prosecution argued against the request, calling him a cold-hearted killer who deliberately murdered four kids; Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
‘This cannot be compared to any other case that this court or any other court has seen in this county.
‘Calling it an isolated incident does not do it justice. This was a mass murder at a school.
Justin Shilling, 17, (left) died in the hospital on Wednesday morning and Tate Myre (right) died in the school on Tuesday
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, (left) and Hana St Juliana, 14, (right) died in Tuesday’s shooting rampage at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit
‘The defendant didn’t just attack other individuals, he targeted juveniles,’ prosecutor Marc Keast said.
He agreed that Ethan should however be held separate from adult prisoners, and said he would contact the jail to make sure he is ‘neither within sight nor sound of any adult at the jail.’
The next hearing has been scheduled for January 7.
Ethan’s attorney also said she is not working with his parents’ lawyer, who has been privately retained, claiming it’s because the two cases are separate.
Crumbley’s parents James, 45, and Jennifer, 43, face four charges of involuntary manslaughter and hired high-profile lawyers Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman.
Each count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison along with a $7,500 fine and mandatory DNA testing.
Smith helped represent USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in his sexual assault trial; Dr. Jumana Nagarwala’s female mutilation trial – a first in the country – which ended with charges being dismissed; and MSU football player Josh King’s sexual misconduct trial, which ended with a probation sentence.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer embraces Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter as the two leave flowers and pay their respects outside Oxford High School, where Crumbley killed four people on November 30