Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley appeared in court Monday afternoon for a probable cause conference that was adjourned until Jan. 7.
Monday’s hearing in an Oakland County court is in preparation for the next hearing on Dec. 20, when the judge will hear evidence and decide whether to send Crumbley to trial.
The case was adjourned while defense attorneys comb through additional evidence. Prosecutors said they have more than 500 pages of evidence, including video and witness statements.
Crumbley is suspected of fatally shooting four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School on Nov. 30.
Attorneys for Crumbley requested the 15-year-old be sent to a juvenile detention center.
“I do not believe my client is a menace to other juveniles,” defense attorney Paulette Loftin told Judge Nancy Carniak on Monday.
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Attorney Deborah H. McKelvy said Crumbley “hears adults in the cells next door to him and pursuant to the statute, he’s not supposed to.”
Carniak agreed with Marc Keast — assistant prosecuting attorney of Oakland County, Michigan — that prison is appropriate for Crumbley because he is a “menace” to other juveniles.
“In a case like Crumbley, the primary topics addressed would likely be: the exchange of discovery and the timing of that exchange; whether the preliinary examination will proceed on the scheduled date, whether it will be waived, or whether it will be adjourned to a new date; and bond,” a spokesman for the Oakland County prosecutor’s office told the Associated Press.
Crumbley was subsequently arrested and 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 in the commission of a felony.
He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond.
His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each. Police say Ethan Crumbley used a gun James Crumbley bought on Black Friday during the shooting.
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Both parents also pleaded not guilty at their arraignment last week.
The shooting has also resulted in two lawsuits, which seek $100 million in damages each, against the school district and school employees on behalf of the family of two sisters who attend the school. One of the sisters was shot in the neck and the other “narrowly escaped the bullets discharged towards her,” according to the lawsuits.
Attorneys for the sisters accused the school last week of destroying social media pages and other evidence related to the case. A judge has since ordered such evidence be preserved.
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It was revealed earlier this month that school officials met with Crumbley and his parents just hours before the deadly rampage over violent drawings he made. The 15-year-old suspect was able to convince them during the meeting that the concerning drawings were for a “video game” and that his parents “flatly refused” to take their son home.
“On the morning of Nov. 30, a teacher observed concerning drawings and written statements that have been detailed in media reports, which the teacher reported to school counselors and the Dean of students. The student was immediately removed from the classroom and brought to the guidance counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was designing and informed counselors that he planned to pursue video game design as a career,” a letter sent to the Oxford High School community from Oxford Community Schools superintendent Tim Thorne states.
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“At no time did counselors believe the student might harm others based on his behavior, responses and demeanor, which appeared calm. In addition, despite media reports, whether or not the gun was in his backpack has not been confirmed by law enforcement to our knowledge nor by our investigation at this time,” the letter added.
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A third party will investigate the school’s handling of Crumbley ahead of the shooting. The school district denied the district attorney’s request to conduct an independent investigation into the matter.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said on NBC’s “Today” show last week that she has not ruled out charging school officials in the case.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.