Judge delays case against Michigan school suspect’s parents
A judge has granted more time to collect and share additional evidence against the parents of a boy charged with killing four students at Oxford High School in the US
Prosecutor Karen McDonald asked that the Michigan community be given “time to heal” during the holiday season.
James and Jennifer Crumbley are charged with involuntary manslaughter. They are accused of giving 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley access to a gun and failing to intervene when they were confronted with his disturbing drawings a few hours before the shooting on November 30.
These funerals have just recently concluded. The prosecutor's office has a lot of work to do with a lot of the victims and the families. We do not think it's in their best interest or in the interests of justice to do that during the holiday season
The teenager is separately charged as an adult with murder and other crimes.
Judge Julie Nicholson granted a request to postpone until February 8 a key hearing that will determine whether the elder Crumbleys will face a trial.
“These funerals have just recently concluded,” Ms McDonald said. “The prosecutor’s office has a lot of work to do with a lot of the victims and the families. We do not think it’s in their best interest or in the interests of justice to do that during the holiday season.”
Besides the deaths of four students, six students and one teacher were injured.
“We have police narratives, we have digital evidence, we have video evidence,” the prosecutor later told reporters, adding that a delay in court proceedings would help her office prepare and also give Oxford “time to heal to the extent that’s possible”.
The parents were arrested on December 4, hiding in a commercial building in Detroit, hours after charges were announced. They remain in prison, apparently unable to pay bonds of 500,000 dollars each, although defence lawyer Shannon Smith said she would ask for new terms on January 7.
Ethan Crumbley had a brief court hearing on Monday and will return on January 7.
Oxford High School, about 30 miles north of Detroit, has been closed since the shooting.
Other schools in the Oxford district were closed on Tuesday out of “an abundance of caution” after an online threat was directed at a middle school, officials said.
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