Tuesday’s hearing was the first time the couple appeared in circuit court. The hearing was brief but the issue at hand is incredibly important to the case. It was the first hearing since their long and explosive preliminary hearing where a judge found there was enough evidence to send them to trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors argue that the parents should be held accountable for allegedly providing their son with the handgun he is accused of using in the shooting. Prosecutors also argued that their son was in crisis, calling out for help and his parents ignored warning signs.
James and Jennifer Crumbley are each represented by a different attorney, but the attorneys are with the same firm. Prosecutors asked the judge to look at the issue and determine if there is a conflict of interest between the two lawyers.
The judge agreed and said she wants to avoid any chance of a mistrial so she is sending two different attorneys to meet separately with the Crumbleys to explain all the conflicts that could come up during the trial.
James and Jennifer Crumbley are expected to meet with independent council within the next two weeks to discuss potential issues.
Prosecutors want James and Jennifer Crumbley to sign waivers after meeting with the independent attorneys. They can still choose to continue the trial with the lawyers they have now -- but prosecutors do not want the lawyers to be a reason for them to appeal any potential convictions.