James, Jennifer Crumbley denied request to change venue in Oxford trial

Parents of accused Oxford High School shooter face 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter

Jennifer Crumbley, 44, and James Crumbley, 55, appear in court on June 27, 2022, for a hearing regarding their motion to change the venue of their trial. The Crumbleys are each facing four involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the Oxford High School shooting. (WDIV)

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of the suspected Oxford High School shooter, have requested their trial be moved, arguing that they won’t receive fair treatment in Oakland County.

The Crumbleys appeared in court Monday morning for the motion to be heard. James and Jennifer Crumbley are both facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter for their alleged role in failing to prevent the shooting. Their son, Ethan, is the suspected shooter.

On Monday, June 27, a judge denied the Crumbleys’ request to move the trail to a different location outside of Oakland County.

Here is the judge’s full statement:

“The level of pretrial publicity, and the number of prospective jurors that might have been directly affected by the Oxford shooting alone is not enough to warrant a change of venue before conducting voir dire,” Judge Cheryl Matthews said. “Oakland County is not a small community and is sufficiently diverse to weigh against a finding of presumed prejudice. It’s well-established that pretrial publicity alone does not warrant a change of venue.

“Further, both Michigan and federal courts have articulated a preference for conducting voir dire before deciding a motion to change venue. Courts have denied motions to change venue in similarly, and arguably even higher-profile cases, including the mass shooting or bombing of multiple victims, including cases involving the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Boston Marathon bombing, and the mass shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.

“Heightened publicity associated with egregious crimes alone does not require a change of venue, which is an extraordinary remedy reserved for circumstances where adverse publicity is so pervasive and inflammatory that jurors cannot be believed when they assert they can be impartial.

“Therefore the motion for change of venue, or venire, is denied.”

Prosecutors also admitted new evidence in the court on Monday in connection with the shooting, but the evidence was largely public knowledge.

The judge said the court tentatively plans to schedule the Crumbleys’ trial for Oct. 24, though defense attorneys showed preference for a later trial date. Attorneys also said they intend to call Ethan Crumbley to the stand during his parents’ trial.

Prosecutors accuse the parents of neglecting their son and ignoring warning signs of his disturbing behavior. They are also accused of purchasing and supplying their son with the handgun that was used in the fatal shooting last year.

Ethan Crumbley is accused of opening fire during school hours on Nov. 30, 2021, killing four students and injuring seven other people.

More: Here’s why Jennifer, James Crumbley argue they can’t get a fair trial in Oakland County


About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.