In a significant development in the Oxford High School shooting case, James and Jennifer Crumbley, facing involuntary manslaughter charges, will be tried separately. The decision follows the emergence of new witness testimony that their defense attorneys argued could jeopardize their chances of a fair trial.
The Crumbleys are being prosecuted in connection with the 2021 Michigan school shooting, where their teenage son, who pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism charges, killed four students. Their son is scheduled for sentencing on December 8, 2022.
The parents are accused of negligently making a firearm accessible to their son and disregarding signs of his depressive state. They each face a maximum of 60 years in prison if convicted.
On Monday, a judge agreed to Jennifer Crumbley’s request for a separate trial, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. This decision was prompted by the introduction of two new prosecution witnesses from Florida, whose statements to the police were turned over to the defense on November 2. The defense attorneys argued that a joint trial could infringe on the rights of both parents, given the likelihood that prosecutors would call these witnesses.
The move for separate trials follows months of disputes between the Crumbleys, as revealed in court documents. Notably, prosecution filings earlier this month indicated that Jennifer Crumbley might be blaming her husband, citing jail communications. Additionally, a former coworker’s testimony in February 2022 alleged Jennifer Crumbley’s extramarital affair during 2021.
Defense requests to exclude evidence of the couple’s infidelity from the trial were partially granted by the judge. As per court documents, the judge limited the prosecution’s ability to present certain evidence of extramarital affairs in their case against the Crumbleys.