Prosecutor blasts James & Jennifer Crumbley, calls them selfish

Posted at 2:17 PM, June 17, 2022 and last updated 9:23 PM, May 11, 2023

(WXYZ) — Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald blasted James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the accused Oxford High School shooting suspect, in court filings this week.

In a series of motions filed on Wednesday, McDonald said the parents “are concerned only about themselves” and said that they have been making personal attacks on the prosecutor.

L to R: James Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office)

It comes after the defense filed motions that aimed to get the case moved from Oakland County, and also accused the prosecutor’s office of releasing too much information to the media and talking badly about their clients.

“Yes, the defendants have important rights, but so do victims and the public. Victims have a right to a zealous advocate on their behalf. The public has a right to know what happened and try to prevent future shootings. Above all else, the public and victims have a right to the truth,” McDonald said in the motion.

In a separate motion, McDonald said the trial should stay in Oakland County, despite the media coverage of the shooting.

Both James and Jennifer are charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting. Prosecutors claim the two failed to intervene when their son showed signs of mental distress, including making disturbing drawings prior to the shooting.

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. (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office)

The shooting at the high school on Nov. 30 killed four students – Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Justin Shilling and Madisyn Baldwin – and injured six students and a teacher.

“From the moment I learned about the Oxford shooting, my focus and attention has been on holding those responsible accountable, and on advocating for our victims. We intend to prove the allegations we’ve made against the shooter’s parents beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. The responses we filed today make clear that we will continue to be zealous advocates for all of the Oxford victims, and that we will not be distracted from that mission,” McDonald said in a statement on Wednesday.

The preliminary exams gave a glimpse into the lives of James and Jennifer Crumbley as witnesses talked about their marriage, day-to-day lives, work-life, and each parent’s perceived relationship with Ethan.

Through multiple witness testimonies, the prosecution painted a picture of a couple focused on their horses, and at times dating outside their marriage, while their son battled disturbing and violent thoughts.

A detective working the case also pointed out their son’s social media posts seem to brag about the gun his parents allegedly bought for him. That same gun was used on Nov. 30 to kill four of his classmates.

This story was originally published June 17, 2022 by WXYZ in Detroit, an E.W. Scripps Company.