The parents of the Oxford High School shooting suspect will stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges in Oakland County.
Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews on Monday ruled against the defense’s motion for a change of venue for the trial for James and Jennifer Crumbley.
“Oakland County is not a small community and is sufficiently diverse to weigh against a finding of presumed prejudice,” Matthews says. “It’s well established that pretrial publicity alone does not warrant a change of venue.”
“Oakland County is not a small community and is sufficiently diverse to weigh against a finding of presumed prejudice.” —Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews
Attorneys for the Crumbleys wanted the trial moved, arguing media coverage and the suffering of community members near the school has tainted any potential jury pool.
Matthews also barred the prosecution and defense from talking about the trial in media.
On Monday new evidence in the case was admitted, including journal passages where the Crumbleys’ son detailed asking his parents for help.
“I actually asked my dad to take me to the doctor yesterday … but he just gave me some pills and told me to suck it up. Like it’s at the point where I’m asking to go to the doctor. My mom laughed when I told her.”
The Crumbleys’ attorneys said Monday that they plan to call their son to testify at the couple’s trial.
Defense attorney Shannon Smith told Matthews that the teenager’s testimony would be related to “extraneous matters” and not the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School.
“We need him as a witness in this trial,” said Smith, who represents Jennifer Crumbley. “There are just certain questions we would just not be able to ask. We do understand that.”
Smith did not say what types of questions would be asked of the 16-year-old. He was charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death.
James and Jennifer Crumbley’s trial remains on track to begin in October. Their son’s trial date was pushed until next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.