Ethan Crumbley: Preliminary hearing for Michigan high school shooting suspect waived

Prosecutors agreed to the waiver, and Judge Nancy Carniak said she would bind the case to court for trial, and that a hearing would be held within the next two weeks to assign a judge.

Crumbley, 15, is accused of opening fire at Oxford High School with a 9mm handgun on November 30, killing four students and injuring six others and one teacher. The attack some 40 miles north of downtown Detroit was the deadliest shooting at a US K-12 campus since 2018.

Crumbley is charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

At his arraignment last month, the judge entered a plea of not guilty per a request from Crumbley’s attorney.

The slain students were Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, authorities said.

In a preliminary examination, a judge would have had to decide — before moving the case to trial — whether prosecutors had probable cause to show a crime had been committed and that the defendant committed the crime.

Ethan Crumbley appears in a court hearing Friday through video conference in Oakland County, Michigan.

Neither prosecutors nor Crumbley’s representatives explained during Friday’s proceeding why they wanted to waive the preliminary hearing.

On Friday, Carniak said Crumbley’s bond would be addressed in the next two weeks, pursuant to a newly enacted federal statute.

The preliminary hearing initially was postponed last month after prosecutors said they needed more time to examine a large amount of evidence before sharing it with defense attorneys.
Crumbley’s parents were also charged in connection with the shooting. James and Jennifer Crumbley each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter and have pleaded not guilty, with prosecutors accusing them of giving him easy access to the gun and disregarding signs that he was a threat.

Jennifer and James Crumbley have a motions hearing set for Friday afternoon where bail terms are expected to be discussed.

A disturbing timeline of events

The parents were held on $500,000 bond each after their December 4 arrest following a manhunt that began when they failed to show up to court for their initial arraignment.

In a timeline laid out early December explaining why Crumbley’s parents had been charged, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said James Crumbley purchased the gun on November 26.

Parents of Michigan high school shooting suspect appear in court on manslaughter charges

The parents gave the weapon to their son as an early Christmas present, the prosecutor alleged.

Ethan Crumbley “had total access to this weapon,” and the parents “didn’t secure (the gun) and they allowed him free access to it,” McDonald said during the parents’ December 4 arraignment.

One of the parents’ attorneys, Shannon Smith, countered during the hearing, saying, “The gun was actually locked.”

“When the prosecution is stating that this child had free access to a gun, that is just absolutely not true,” Smith said.

McDonald has alleged that the day before the shooting, a teacher at Oxford High School saw Ethan Crumbley searching online for ammunition on his phone.

Michigan authorities execute search warrant at the home of the man accused of helping the alleged school gunman's parents

The teacher notified school officials, who contacted the parents via phone and email, but they did not respond.

Later, Jennifer Crumbley sent Ethan a text message saying, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” McDonald said.

On the day of the shooting, another teacher found a drawing on Crumbley’s desk which essentially depicted a shooting, McDonald said. It “alarmed her to the point that she took a picture of it on her cell phone,” the prosecutor said.

The picture led school officials to hold a meeting with the accused shooter and his parents, who were instructed to help provide counseling for their son within 48 hours, school officials have said. The parents resisted the idea of taking their son out of school, McDonald said, and he was allowed to return to the classroom.

Surveillance cameras captured the violence

Surveillance cameras at the school captured much of the violence, prosecutors have said.

Michigan school shooting could have been prevented given warning signs, prosecutor says
Just before 12:51 p.m. on the day of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley could be seen with a backpack, then a minute or two later, he exited a bathroom without the backpack but with a gun in hand, Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast said during Crumbley’s December 1 arraignment.

Crumbley then allegedly began to “methodically and deliberately” walk the hallways and aim a gun at students and fire the weapon, Keast said.

When students began to run away, Crumbley allegedly continued to go down the hallway at a “methodical pace” and shot inside classrooms and at students who hadn’t escaped, Keast said.

This continued for another four or five minutes, and Crumbley eventually went to another bathroom, Keast said.

Dozens of terrified students called 911 during the shooting. When deputies arrived, the suspect set down the gun and surrendered, officials have said.

Prosecutors: Parents disregarded signs their son was a threat

In a filing last month, prosecutors alleged that Crumbley’s parents “willfully ignored the…

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