Attorneys for James and Jennifer Crumbley appeal to Michigan Supreme Court in Oxford case

Posted at 12:18 PM, May 19, 2023

(WXYZ) — The attorneys for James and Jennifer Crumbley have filed appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in late March that the couple can stand trial in connection to the deadly Oxford High School shooting.

James and Jennifer Crumbley

FILE – This undated combo of photos provided by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office shows James Crumbley, left, and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teen who admitted killing four students in a shooting at Oxford High School, in Michigan. (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office)

James and Jennifer, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, who pleaded guilty to the shooting at the school that killed four students and injured seven other people, are each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The charges stem from 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.

In February 2022, a judge bound over James and Jennifer after a preliminary examination, saying there was enough evidence for them to stand trial. However, their lawyers appealed the ruling, and in November 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a stay on the case and sent it back to the Court of Appeals.

In the opinion released on March 23, the Michigan Court of Appeals noted that the district court didn’t abuse its discretion saying that the gunman’s decision to shoot his classmates was not a superseding cause because it “was foreseeable based on an objective standard of reasonableness.”

Ethan Crumbley answers yes to charges against him from assistant prosecutor during his pre-trial hearing at Oakland County Courthouse, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Pontiac, Mich. Crumbley entered the guilty plea to 24 criminal charges including terrorism causing death and first-degree murder for the Oxford High School shooting. (Clarence Tabb Jr./Detroit News via AP)

Defense lawyers argued that this case might set a precedent where parents could be charged for violent acts committed by their children, but the Court of Appeals argued those concerns are “significantly diminished by several well-established principles.”

In yesterday’s filings with the Michigan Supreme Court, the Crumbleys’ attorneys say the “Court of Appeals’ decision is clearly erroneous, will cause injustices, and conflicts with Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court precedent.”

In October 2022, Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty to 24 charges, including one count of terrorism and four counts of first-degree murder, in the Oxford High School shooting.

This story was originally published May 18, 2023 by WXYZ in Detroit, an E.W. Scripps Company.