Lawyers for the Crumbleys said in court documents that the charges had no legal basis and that the couple should not be held responsible for the murders their son is accused of committing.
“The Crumbleys did not advise [Ethan] in the School Shooting Commission or act jointly with the [Ethan] whatever sort of; on the contrary, the Crumbleys were unaware that their son intended to commit multiple homicides… Nor was there a joint enterprise,” wrote attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman. “Certainly, if the If the charge could directly link Mr. or Mrs. Crumbley to the mass shooting, they would be prosecuted for first degree murder as if they directly committed the offence. However, since the prosecution cannot substantiate such a claim, he is left with trying to insert a square peg into a round hole, and the information must be quashed.”
Four additional motions were also filed on Wednesday and Thursday, including one asking a judge to exclude various pieces of evidence the Crumbleys believe are irrelevant, and another asking a judge to bar prosecutors from publicly discussing the case. .
Oakland County Deputy Chief Prosecutor David Williams said in a statement Thursday that “the motions filed on Wednesday do not raise any new arguments or evidence. The prosecution will respond to the motions to the extent permitted by the court at right moment”. He added that “the prosecution remains very confident in its case”.
Defense attorneys have argued in court documents that the charges against their clients “grow out of a desire to hold people accountable for criminal acts, where no legal justification exists to do so.”
“Extending the law in this way involves important political decisions with broad social consequences, going well beyond this single case. Such a task should therefore be solved by the legislative process, not by judicial innovation”, have they wrote.
The evidence the Crumbleys want to exclude:
• Ethan Crumbley’s 22-page diary in which he allegedly wrote about his plans to shoot up Oxford High School
• Text messages between Ethan Crumbley and a friend in which he allegedly told the friend that his mother had laughed at him when he asked for help, and that his father had told him to “let go”.
• Ethan Crumbley’s internet research and evidence related to his Instagram posts
• Discussion of the Crumbleys’ hobby of horseback riding and their alleged marital discord
• Testimony and evidence related to a bird’s head found in a jar in Ethan Crumbley’s bedroom
• Testimony related to parents’ involvement with alcohol, marijuana and a Nazi Germany coin found in their home
• Testimony regarding the time Ethan Crumbley spent playing video games or “any other evidence that would attack the defendants’ parenting actions generally but does not involve violence and firearms.”
Smith and Lehman wrote that some of this evidence is “irrelevant” to the manslaughter charges and would be “unfairly prejudicial to Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley, who had no knowledge or writing of the diary, nor had no knowledge of or involvement in sending the texts, and/or having anything to do with [Ethan’s] horrible internet searches.”
The Crumbleys’ lawyers also noted that Ethan wrote in his diary that he hoped his actions would be “so big that sleepy fuckin’ Joe Biden will have to apologize. [sic] to people” and also wrote that “I hope [his] the shooting will result in Biden’s impeachment.”
They warned that “in recent years, attitudes towards American political leaders, including President Biden and the candidate he defeated, President Trump, have become increasingly polarized” and they do not want to not that a juror’s personal political beliefs bias them for or against the Crumbleys.
A hearing before Judge Cheryl A. Matthews on the motions has been tentatively scheduled for June 27, according to court documents.
A tentative trial date has been set for October 24, according to the Oakland County District Attorney’s Office.
Officers testify on items found at home, newspaper
In February, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Matthew Peschke and Det. Adam Stoyek testified about the search of the family home.
Peschke said he found a number of items in Ethan Crumbley’s bedroom, including a coin in a plastic covering – with a “Nazi symbol” on it – and shooting targets taped to the walls.
Stoyek testified that an empty gun case and an empty ammunition box were found “sitting on the bed” in the master bedroom. Stoyek said there didn’t appear to be a security lock on the case.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were present when police searched the home, Stoyek said.
Ethan Crumbley’s backpack – with his diary inside – was found in an Oxford high school bathroom on the day of the shooting, Lt. Timothy Willis said.
Willis said every page of this diary written contained references to a shooting Ethan Crumbley was planning at Oxford High School. There were 21 pages written or drawn in the diary, Willis said.
Reportedly, Ethan Crumbley’s last diary entry was dated November 29 – the day before the shooting – and read, “The shooting is tomorrow. I have access to the gun and ammunition.”
Other entries in Ethan Crumbley’s diary include:
“The first victim has to be a pretty girl with a future so she can suffer like me.”
“I completely, mentally lost it after years of battling with my dark side. My parents don’t listen to me about help or a therapist.”
“I’m sorry for that mommy and daddy, I’m not trying to hurt you by doing this. I have to.”
The diary also included drawings of bullets, a severed head and what appeared to be a “demon”, Willis said.
James Crumbley cried during the newspaper testimony.
On cross-examination, Willis confirmed that there were no entries in the diary written by the student’s parents or anything to indicate that he told them of his alleged plans for the shooting.
There was no indication in the log of how Ethan Crumbley got access to the gun and ammunition allegedly used in the school shooting or any evidence that Jennifer or James Crumbley gave him the gun, said Willis.
Text messages say the teenager asked for help
As part of the investigation, an Oakland County Sheriff’s Detective extracted data and texts from the phones of Ethan Crumbley and his parents.
Det. Edward Wagrowski said he found messages from Ethan Crumbley to a friend saying he asked his parents to take him to a doctor after he had hallucinations and heard voices.
Ethan told his friend that in response to this request, his father gave him pills and told him to “suck”. According to phone messages, Ethan Crumbley told his friend his mother made fun of him, Wagrowski testified.
The detective said Ethan Crumbley texted his friend saying his mother believed he was on drugs and she was not worried about his sanity.
“They make me feel like the problem,” wrote Ethan Crumbley. “My mom makes everyone feel like a piece of shit.”
Shannon Smith, an attorney representing Ethan’s mother, cross-examined the detective.
Wagrowski confirmed he couldn’t find any text messages between James and Jennifer Crumbley regarding fears that Ethan would shoot up a school or harm anyone. He said there were several texts discussing Ethan Crumbley’s schoolwork and coming home.
Although there were text messages between Ethan Crumbley and a friend discussing guns and joking about shooting up a school, there were no such text messages from Ethan to any of his parents, Wagrowski said.
“In the grand scheme of all the messages (between Ethan and his friend) … there is no indication that Jennifer or James were briefed or knew of any plan to carry out a school shooting like what happened. moved to Oxford High School on 11/30?” Smith asked the detective.
“Correct,” Wagrowski replied.
CNN’s Nicki Brown. Amy Roberts, Holly Yan, Amir Vera, Julian Cummings, Tanika Gray and Adam Jones contributed to this report.