An Oakland County judge on Wednesday denied an appeal request from the parents of the 2021 Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, which was filed months ago.
Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald charged James and Jennifer Crumbley with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each in connection with the November 2021 shooting at Oxford High School, which their son is accused of orchestrating. The shooting left four students dead and seven others injured.
The couple had asked for evidence to be removed during their trial – a request that Judge Mark Cavanaugh denied on Thursday.
Defense attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman have argued that the Crumbleys had nothing to do with their son's actions on Nov. 30, 2021, and that they were unaware of the then-15-year-old's alleged plans to harm his classmates.
Prosecutors, however, argue that the couple should be held responsible for the shooting because they had bought Ethan Crumbley a gun on Black Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. In a motion filed earlier this month, McDonald referenced a social media post from Jennifer Crumbley in which she said that the parents had purchased the pistol as a Christmas gift for their son.
"He didn't just snap," McDonald wrote in a Sept. 9 motion to admit evidence, "he followed a pathway paved for him by prior shooters, and enabled by these defendants."
McDonald revealed in January that school officials had met with Crumbley and his parents to discuss violent drawings just hours before the deadly rampage. The 15-year-old suspect was able to convince school officials during the meeting that the concerning drawings were for a "video game." His parents "flatly refused" to take their son home.
James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty during their arraignment in December and were ordered to be held on $500,000 bond each.
Crumbley, who is now 16 years old, is charged with first-degree murder as an adult.
The four deceased victims of the shooting are Justin Shilling, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17.