Not-guilty plea entered for teen in Michigan school shooting

Posted at 4:04 PM, January 12, 2022 and last updated 9:53 PM, July 18, 2023

By COREY WILLIAMS Associated Press

A Michigan teenager charged in a mass shooting that left four students dead at his high school made his first appearance in trial court Wednesday.


Ethan Crumbley, 15, was arraigned in Oakland County Circuit Court via video from the jail where he is being held on first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, terrorism and gun charges. Crumbley is charged as an adult in the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.

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)

Crumbley’s attorneys had waived his preliminary examination, moving the case toward trial. Through defense attorney Paulette Michel Loftin, Crumbley entered a plea of not guilty. Crumbley said little during the hearing, except to acknowledge that he could hear the judge and confirm that he was OK with the hearing proceeding via Zoom.

Judge Kwame Rowe set a status conference for Jan. 19.

Crumbley’s parents are charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting, because

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, a teen accused of killing four students in a shooting at Oxford High School, in Michigan. The Crumbleys are scheduled to return to court on charges of involuntary manslaughter for a probable cause conference in Rochester Hills District Court Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

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.

Prosecutors have said that the couple also ignored numerous warning signs about Ethan, including the teen’s fascination with Nazi propaganda and text messages in 2021 in which he told his mother that he thought “there was a demon or a ghost or someone else inside the home.”

Oxford High students returned to classes Tuesday at a different building in the district. The high school is expected to reopen Jan. 24.
Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.