Judge to rule if Michigan school shooter stays in adult jail

Posted at 4:43 PM, February 22, 2022 and last updated 4:48 PM, July 5, 2023

By COREY WILLIAMS Associated Press

The manager of a juvenile detention center says she would have concerns if a 15-year-old charged with killing four fellow students in his Michigan high school were incarcerated at her facility.


Children’s Village manager Heather Calcaterra testified Tuesday during a hearing to decide whether Ethan Crumbley will be moved to the juvenile facility from an adult jail.

This booking photo released by the Oakland County, Mich., Sheriff’s Office shows Ethan Crumbley, 15, who is charged as an adult with murder and terrorism for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured more at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., authorities said Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

“This was a devastating situation and we don’t know that the defendant’s presence on our campus, in the classrooms, on the unit, how that may trigger or impact other young people,” Calcaterra said. “I would also be concerned about his safety. I do not know if he will be a target.”

“We’ve never had a situation like this… including a school shooting or a defendant who was going to use the insanity plea,” she added. “So, we don’t know what we’re going to need.”

Crumbley is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, terrorism and gun charges in the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.

FILE – Handwritten messages are left at the memorial site at the memorial site on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., after a 15-year-old allegedly killed these four classmates, and injured seven others in a shooting inside the northern Oakland County school one week earlier. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP, File)

In addition to the four students slain, six other students and a teacher were wounded.

Last month, Crumbley’s attorneys filed a notice of an insanity defense.

Crumbley has been held at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac since December. Currently, he is lodged alone in a cell in the jail’s clinic to keep him from seeing and hearing adult inmates.

Crumbley’s attorney, Paulette Loftin, has argued that her client should be moved to a juvenile facility, saying that he “should not be considered a menace to other juveniles.”

(L) James Crumbley, (R) Jennifer Crumbley (Oakland County Jail)

But prosecutors said Tuesday that Crumbley would pose a potential risk of harm to other juveniles if he was transferred to Children’s Village.

It would not immediately clear if Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame Rowe would decide Tuesday if Crumbley was to remain in the jail or be transferred to Children’s Village.

Crumbley’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, are charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting. Their preliminary examinations are scheduled to resume Thursday.

Prosecutors allege they gave Ethan the gun as an early Christmas present. They also are accused of breaching their responsibility by refusing to remove him from school two hours before the shooting when counselors confronted them with his distressing drawings of violence.
Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.