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 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.
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.”
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.
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.