MI Supreme Court pauses case against James & Jennifer Crumbley in Oxford shooting

School Shooting Michigan
Posted at 10:05 AM, Nov 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-29 18:27:32-05

The Michigan Supreme Court has issued a stay on the involuntary manslaughter cases against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley.

In an order released on Tuesday, the Michigan Supreme Court paused the trial and sent the case back to the Michigan Court of Appeals to see if there was enough evidence for James and Jennifer to be bound over for trial.

The Crumbleys were expected to go to trial on the charges in January, but this ruling will likely delay the trial from starting.

Each of them is facing four charges of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Justin Shilling, 17, Tate Myre, 16 and Hana St. Juliana, 14. They were killed by Ethan during the shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. Seven other people, including a teacher, were also shot and injured.

Justice Richard Bernstein dissented from the Supreme Court's order, saying that the appeals process is designed so these issues are taken up after trial.

"Moreover, addressing causation at this stage will unnecessarily delay the trial proceedings, which are set to begin in January. In order to avoid needless delay, I would prefer to remand to the Court of Appeals simply for that court to reconsider defendant’s challenge to the denial of the motion to quash in light of the concern articulated in Yost, as I believe any substantive questions pertaining to causation should not be addressed until after trial is complete," Berstein wrote.

In February, a judge bound over James and Jennifer after preliminary examinations. Prosecutors claim the two failed to intervene when their son showed signs of mental distress, including making disturbing drawings prior to the shooting.

The preliminary exams gave a glimpse into the lives of James and Jennifer Cumbley as witnesses talked about their marriage, day-to-day lives, work-life, and each parent's perceived relationship with Ethan.

Through multiple witness testimonies, the prosecution painted a picture of a couple focused on their horses, and at times dating outside their marriage, while their son battled disturbing and violent thoughts.

A detective working the case also pointed out their son’s social media posts seem to brag about the gun his parents allegedly bought for him. That same gun was used on Nov. 30 to kill four of his classmates.