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Oxford High School shooting suspect to pursue an insanity defense

Posted at 2:31 PM, Jan 27, 2022

DETROIT — A teenager charged in a Michigan high school shooting that left four people dead and seven others injured is expected to go forward in the case with an insanity defense.

According to court filings on Thursday, Ethan Crumbley's lawyers filed a notice of an insanity defense. He has not yet been given a psychiatric evaluation.

In the filing, his lawyers, Amy Hopp and Paulette Loftin wrote that Crumbley "intends to assert the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense and gives notice of his intention to claim such a defense."

Crumbley, 15, is charged as an adult in the murders of his four classmates at Oxford High School, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling, and the shooting of seven other people at the school on Nov. 30.

He is charged 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 in the commission of a felony.

He waived his right to a preliminary hearing earlier this month, and the case was moved to Oakland County Circuit Court.

His lawyers have been working on getting him transitioned from the Oakland County Jail, where he is being held in isolation, back to Children's Village, where he was first arrested.

Crumbley is accused of opening fire inside the school on Nov. 30. He was taken into custody shortly after the shooting, and police have said they arrived five minutes after the first 911 call.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed that the day before the shooting, the suspect was reportedly searching for ammunition on his phone in class – when a teacher noticed.

According to the prosecutor, a call and email reportedly went out to Jennifer about the incident, which was unanswered.

McDonald said his mother, Jennifer, later texted her son about the incident, saying, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”

On Nov. 30, the prosecutor says the suspect was discovered drawing a disturbing note in class.

The drawings reportedly worried the teacher.

McDonald said the suspect had drawn a gun pointing at the words, “the thoughts won’t stop, help me,” along with a drawing of a bullet with the words, “blood everywhere” and a picture of a person who appeared to be shot twice near a laughing emoji and the words “my life is useless.”

The prosecutor said the suspect was called into a meeting with his parents at the school. McDonald said the suspect had already altered parts of the drawing at that time. The parents were reportedly advised to get counseling for their son within 48 hours.

It was after that meeting that the suspect returned to class. The prosecutor said the parents failed to ask the suspect if he had the gun with him and failed to check his backpack.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are also facing charges in the shooting. Each of them is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Staff at WXYZ station in Detroit, Michigan, first reported this story.