Accused Michigan school shooter must stay in adult jail, but can resume education


(OXFORD, Mich.) — The 15-year-old boy charged with multiple counts of murder stemming from a November mass shooting at Michigan’s Oxford High School must remain in an adult jail, a judge ordered Thursday as the teen’s court-appointed guardian said it’s now up to the jail to provide him an education.

During a hearing held on Zoom, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame Rowe maintained his prior order that Ethan Crumbley is not to be transferred at this juncture to a juvenile facility.

“The court has not been presented with additional information or new information that will cause this court to disrupt its March 1, 2022 opinion and order. Therefore, the court will continue the defendant’s placement at the Oakland County Jail,” Rowe said.

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

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

Officials said at a previous hearing that Crumbley is only released from his cell to shower or speak with visitors and his attorneys. He spends most of his time reading Harry Potter books, officials said.

Deborah H. McKelvy, Crumbley’s court-appointed guardian, raised concerns Thursday over prosecutors continuing to say in court filings that it’s the responsibility of the defendant’s parents to provide him an education.

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

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

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

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

McKelvy said she received an email on Tuesday from a senior assistant at the Corporation Counsel for Oakland County notifying Crumbley of the educational programs available to him in jail.

“He (Crumbley) is thinking about what path he wants to proceed with,” McKelvy said.

She said one option is through a cyber school and the other is through a program offered by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, in which Crumbley could study for his high school equivalency exam or his GED with a laptop computer provided by the jail.

“Once he has achieved either the high school equivalency diploma or the GED, he then would be able to continue in that program to be able to do some community college courses,” McKelvy said.

Ven Johnson, a Detroit civil attorney who represents the parents of Tate Myre, one of four students Crumbley allegedly shot to death, agreed that under state statute, Oakland County must provide Crumbley an education until he’s 18.

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

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

Judge Rowe set Crumbley’s next hearing for April 21, for a required monthly reevaluation of whether he should stay in jail or be transferred to a juvenile facility.

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