James, Jennifer Crumbley bound over for trial on manslaughter charges in Oxford case

Couple’s son accused in Oxford High School shooting that killed four students

Chilling new details emerged in court Thursday (Feb. 21) as James and Jennifer Crumbley are bound over for trial on manslaughter charges. Their son Ethan Crumbley is accused in the shooting at Oxford High School that killed four students.

DETROIT – While the defense blamed school officials, prosecutors focused on disturbing texts and journal entries to prove James and Jennifer Crumbley knew how badly their son needed help and did nothing.

More: Counselor’s perspective, disturbing journal, ‘messy’ home: New evidence revealed in Oxford shooting case

Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast began with the text exchange between Ethan Crumbley and one of his friends, where Ethan Crumbley first asked for help.

“I asked my dad to take me to the doctor yesterday, and he laughed and gave me some drugs and said ‘suck it up,’” Ethan Crumbley said to his friend, according to prosecutor Keast. “My mom laughed when I told her.”

After the text exchange came Ethan Crumbley’s 21-page journal that he stopped writing in the day before the shooting.

“Out of those 21 pages, how many discuss the Oxford shooting or the plan to shoot it up?” Keast said.

“Every single one,” said Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Timothy Willis.

More: ‘Ethan did it’: Witnesses testify at hearing for parents of suspected Oxford High School shooter

Several entries of the journal were challenging to hear.

“It says the first victim has to be a pretty girl with a future so that she can suffer like me,” Willis said.

But the defense pushed back, saying there is no evidence that James and Jennifer Crumbley knew about those messages or journal entries.

Read: James, Jennifer Crumbley ordered to stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges

The defense also grilled Oxford High School counselor Shawn Hopkins, who didn’t search Ethan Crumbley’s backpack, which had the journal and the gun inside.

“You could’ve said he has to leave, correct?” said an attorney.

“I could have stated that, correct,” said Hopkins.

Tate Myre’s father, Buck Myre, said he learned a lot during Thursday’s hearing, and he is firm in his beliefs that Oxford High School failed in protecting the victims.

“Our kid’s not home,” said Myre. “They didn’t do enough. Three other kids aren’t coming home. They didn’t do enough.”

The judge heard enough of those text and journal entries in Ethan Crumbley’s words, where he used phrases like, “My parents don’t care, my parents won’t help me,” during Thursday’s hearing, and it was enough for James and Jennifer Crumbley to be bound over for trial.


Related: Troubling texts emerge in hearing for parents of accused Oxford school shooter: ‘My son ruined so many lives today’


About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.