In recent court developments, Jennifer Crumbley, mother of Ethan Crumbley, has expressed strong opposition to the inclusion of specific evidence in her forthcoming trial. This evidence pertains to actions of her son prior to the Oxford High School shooting. Legal representatives for Mrs. Crumbley argue that knowledge of her son’s actions involving baby birds is irrelevant to the charges she faces and could unfairly influence the jury.
Ethan Crumbley, who is set for sentencing this Friday for the school shooting incident that occurred two years ago, was found to have recorded himself harming birds, as revealed in court documents. His mother, alongside her husband, is facing involuntary manslaughter charges. She contends that she was unaware of her son’s actions both in regards to harming birds and keeping a bird’s head hidden, activities that occurred in the same timeframe as the school shooting where four students were killed and seven others injured, including a teacher.
Defense attorney Shannon Smith, in a recent court filing, emphasized the extreme and disturbing nature of the ‘bird evidence.’ Smith stated that such evidence, if admitted, would likely provoke strong emotional responses from the jury, potentially leading them to judge Mrs. Crumbley based on her son’s actions, of which she claims to have had no knowledge.
The parents’ trial is scheduled for January. They face involuntary manslaughter charges and are accused of neglecting their son’s mental health issues, instead providing him with a firearm. This weapon was later used in the November 2021 shooting. Prosecutors allege that the parents could have prevented the tragedy if they had disclosed information about the firearm to school officials.
The prosecution has brought to light various aspects of the Crumbleys’ personal life, including infidelity, substance use, and parenting choices, which the defense claims are irrelevant to the manslaughter charges. They argue these details, much like the ‘bird evidence,’ would only serve to bias the jury.
Additionally, Jennifer Crumbley has requested judicial clarification regarding another matter: her personal affairs. While Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews has ruled certain aspects of the parents’ personal life inadmissible as evidence, the prosecution has indicated knowledge of a second affair, prompting the defense to seek clarity on its potential use in the trial.
Judge Matthews has made determinations on the admissibility of various pieces of evidence, including disallowing details about the parents’ infidelity, household conditions, substance use, and certain aspects of Ethan Crumbley’s online activity. Conversely, evidence regarding the family’s expenditures on horseback riding and Ethan’s engagement with violent video games will be permitted.
Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time of the attack, has pleaded guilty to all charges and faces the possibility of life imprisonment without parole. His sentencing is expected to take place this Friday.