Hearing for Crumbley Parents Delves into Demons, Infidelity, Guns, and Horses

In a preliminary exam for James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of the 15-year old Oxford High school shooter, the prosecution laid out text messages and witness testimony attempting to document what the Crumbleys knew about the deteriorating mental condition of their son.

The prosecution intends to prove the Crumbleys should have known their son needed help but were too busy to take measures to prevent a deadly school shooting that killed four and injured seven.

Four witnesses included three co-workers and the owner of a horse farm. Those witnesses testified about marital troubles, Jennifer Crumbley’s assessment of her lonely son, and the activities with her horses.

Oakland County Sheriff’s detectives collected texts, videos, call logs and social media interactions connected to the shootings.

  • “Now it’s time to shoot up the school,” Ethan Crumbley sent in a text to an unidentified person on Aug. 20, and added multiple times, “j/k.”
  • Accompanying a video of a hand holding a gun, another Crumbley text said, “My dad left it out, so I thought, well, why not.”
  • The same pair talked about kidnapping and killing a classmate.

In March, text messages showed Ethan was experiencing paranoia and delusions.

  • “Can you get home now,” Ethan Crumbley asked in a string of messages sent to his mother on March 9, according to Wagrowski. “There is someone in the house. Someone walked into the bathroom and left the light on and I thought it was you but when I came out there was no one home. There is no one in the house though. Dude, my door just slammed. Maybe it’s just my paranoia.”
  • A month later Ethan texted an unknown person that he was going to ask his parents to take him to a doctor, but didn’t want to tell them about “the voices.”

After Jennifer Crumbley received a voicemail from the school the day prior to the shooting, alerting her that Ethan Crumbley was caught looking up bullets on his phone in class, the mother searched for “clinical depression treatment options” on her phone.

The preliminary hearing is set to resume February 24, and will determine whether there is enough evidence for the case to move forward.

MLive, Detroit Free Press