Parents of accused Oxford shooter to face court hearing next month

The parents of the accused Oxford High School shooter are expected to be arraigned in Oakland County Circuit next month on involuntary manslaughter charges.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were ordered Thursday to stand trial in connection with the Nov. 30 rampage by 52-3 District Court Judge Julie Nicholson following a preliminary hearing held over two days in February. 

James and Jennifer Crumbley are set to be arraigned in Oakland County Circuit Court in March after a judge ordered the pair to stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with a Nov. 30 shooting rampage at Oxford High School allegedly carried out by their son.

Their son, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, is charged as an adult with multiple felony counts, including first-degree murder and terrorism. Four students were killed in the shooting and six other students and a teacher were wounded.

The couple is set to be arraigned at 1 p.m. on March 8 before Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl A. Matthews. Defense attorneys for the parents said they intend to file with the court to waive the arraignments, which could move their next court appearance to a March 15 pretrial hearing.

James and Jennifer Crumbley face four counts each for the slain victims — Hana St. Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17. Each felony charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Oakland County prosecutors have argued that Crumbley's parents were distracted and unconcerned as their son's behavior spiraled. Prosecutors also accuse the couple of failing to secure a handgun purchased for the teen as a Christmas gift just days before the shooting. 

Defense attorneys for the pair have attempted to counter that, noting Ethan conveyed in text messages to a friend that he was attempting to hide his troubling behaviors from his parents, including allegedly torturing a family of birds. The defense argued the couple couldn't have predicted that their son would commit a mass shooting.