The parents of the teen who killed four classmates at Michigan’s Oxford High School have requested —and have now been granted — separate criminal trials.
James and Jennifer Crumbley have presented a united front since their son carried out a mass shooting at Oxford High two years ago. They were set to go on trial in January — each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the four students their son fatally shot — but attorneys for the couple have argued new evidence has surfaced that could pit the parents against each other.
Shannon Smith, Jennifer Crumbley’s lawyer, said the new evidence was based on “additional interviews of witnesses in Florida” by law enforcement on Oct. 31. Prosecutors agreed with the request, though they expressed reservations about forcing victims of the families to re-live the traumatic events twice.
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews granted the motions to separate the trials on Monday.
Ethan Crumbley has pleaded guilty to all charges related to the Oxford High shooting. An Oakland County judge ruled that he can be sentenced as an adult, which carries the possibility of life without parole. The teenager’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 8.
The prosecution in his parents’ case accuse them of being grossly negligent prior to the shooting, alleging they ignored their son’s request for mental help and instead bought him a gun. Defense attorneys contend the son lied about asking for counseling.