Prosecutors presented Ethan Crumbley as a murderous madman who was intent on earning fame and glory by murdering his friends and took joy in his evil side in order to lock him behind bars.
Prosecutors claimed that after being arrested in the Nov. 30 mass shooting, he hasn’t “altered his way of thinking,” despite the youngster making several strange demands while in custody in December.
“He asked in jail, ‘How do I get my fan mail? How do I get my hate mail?’ He wants that notoriety,” Assistant Oakland Prosecutor Kelly Collins argued in court Tuesday, alleging the teenager also communicates with the outside world through a tablet, telling them things like: “My court date is Feb. 22. Maybe you can watch me on TV.”
“He wants to be remembered,” Collins told the judge, stressing the massacre at Oxford High School was planned out in advance. “His actions were not impulsive. They were calculated, rehearsed, and well thought out.”
Collins made her remarks during a one-day hearing in which the defense requested that Crumbley be transferred from the Oakland County prison to Children’s Village in Pontiac.
He once texted a friend, prosecutors said: “The scary thing is — I like being this f—– up.”
“I understand that the charges could not be more serious against Mr. Crumbley,” said the teen’s lawyer, Paulette Loftin, who argued that adult prison is not the right place for a minor struggling with mental health issues.
Crumbley was hallucinating, hearing voices, highly agitated, and pleading for assistance in the weeks and months leading up to the shooting, according to Loftin.
“This is someone who was having a mental health crisis and no one did a thing,” Loftin said. “He had no one in his corner to get the help that he desperately needed.”
She added: “He is completely isolated. Isolation is horrific.”
Judge Kwame Rowe of Oakland County Circuit Court said he would take the case under advisement and make a written ruling on Crumbley’s jail status next week.
During the hearing, prosecutors vehemently opposed Crumbley being transferred to a child prison center, claiming he is too dangerous to be trusted among other minors. He allegedly plotted a mass massacre, as well as stalking, raping, torturing, and killing a female student, journaled about surviving the shooting so that he could watch the misery, and took satisfaction in torturing baby birds, according to authorities.
“The defendant’s anti-social behavior is very concerning,” Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Markeisha Washington argued in court. “He bragged about wearing a mask to the public. He enjoyed his dark side.”
Crumbley, who was present during the court, sat at the defense table while his attorney attempted to justify his actions.
During the proceedings, Loftin chastised Crumbley’s parents twice, saying: “He requested that his parents consult a therapist. And my client was not in any kind of therapy at the time of the incident.”
Loftin further said that except for his attorneys and a psychiatrist and case worker he sees once a week, Crumbley interacts with absolutely no one in jail. He is presently kept in a cement chamber with a glass door and does not share a cell with anyone. She said that the adolescent facility would be a better fit for him since he could attend school there and receive better therapy.
However, Heather Calcaterra, a manager at Children’s Village, testified that she is concerned that Crumbley would be transferred to the juvenile center.
“We’ve never had a situation like this involving a school shooting,” Calcaterra said. “I have concerns about the trauma impact on other young people. … This is a devastating situation and we don’t know what his presence in our classrooms — how that may trigger or impact other young people.”
Calcaterra added: “I would also be concerned about his safety.”
Crumbley has access to a tablet, TV, and books in jail, according to a jail official, and he has read “Harry Potter.” He may play games on his tablet and attend educational classes there, and he receives mental care once a week. Crumbley has been eating cold food for a while, but the menu is due to alter on Thursday to include warm meals.
Crumbley is being jailed on terrorist and first-degree murder charges for allegedly using a pistol his parents purchased him to carry out the attacks at the school in a suburb north of Detroit. The incident resulted in the deaths of four kids and the injuries of six students and a teacher.
In the Oakland County Jail, he is being detained without bond until the conclusion of his case.
A federal law prohibits children confined in adult jails or prisons from being within sight or hearing of adult inmates. The defense has claimed that this isn’t conceivable at the Oakland County Jail, claiming that the teen’s mental and emotional well-being might be jeopardized in that setting.
Crumbley is being held in the same facility as his parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, who are being held on accusations of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors claim that the couple purchased their son the pistol used in the massacre, failed to secure it, and never informed the school about it when they had the opportunity.
On Thursday, the parents will return to court for the remainder of their preliminary examination, during which prosecutors will try to persuade a judge that they have enough evidence against the parents to go to trial.
Ethan Crumbley has entered a not guilty plea through his lawyers, who have stated that an insanity defense is being prepared.