The Michigan school shooting suspect who is accused of killing four people in a shooting at Oxford High School last November is planning on using an insanity defense at trial. The defense attorneys for the alleged shooter, Ethan Crumbley, filed a notice on Thursday saying that they plan to “assert the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense.” Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor David Williams released a statement that Crumbley would be evaluated by a doctor from the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, saying: “As expected, Ethan Crumbley’s attorney has requested an evaluation of his criminal responsibility. This is standard procedure.” At Crumbley’s arraignment last month, the judge entered a plea of not guilty at the request of Crumbley’s attorney.
Crumbley faces 24 charges, in connection with the shooting at Oxford High School, including one count of terrorism causing death and four counts of first-degree murder. Crumbley was 15-years-old at the time of the shooting, and is being charged as an adult. Additionally, Crumbley’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were arrested days after the shooting and charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors allege that the parents disregarded signs their son was a threat, and gave him easy access to the gun used in the shooting. At a hearing earlier this month, prosecutor Mark Keast alleged Crumbley’s parents were negligent in addressing issues with their son, who allegedly texted his mother while his parents were not home, saying he saw demons or ghosts, or that he believed someone was inside the house. Crumbley’s parents have pleaded not guilty.
Authorities say that teachers at the high school had reported concerning behavior from Crumbley. Hours before the killings, Crumbley was found with a drawing that essentially depicted a shooting. The teen’s notebooks also included concerning content including entries about how he wanted to shoot guns, shoot up a school and other dark thoughts. Crumbley searched online for information about guns and school shootings so much that he started to get spam advertisements regarding guns and mental health, the prosecutor said.
Four students — Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17 — were killed at Oxford High School, located 40 miles north of downtown Detroit. Another six students and one teacher were wounded in the attack, making it the deadliest school shooting since 2018 in the United States.
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