PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) – When Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald made the unique decision to charge the parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley with manslaughter, she knew she would need to use a lot of words and statements of their son before the shooting at trial. But lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley argue that much of that should be inadmissible.
Defense attorney Shannon Smith said in court in April that the team would file motions to vacate, eliminate, and motions regarding Ethan’s psychological records and more. On Wednesday, many of these motions were filed with the court; one of which was a request to block the prosecution form from using Ethan’s 22-page diary, his text messages with a friend, and hundreds of internet searches.
In the filing, the defense team for Crumbley’s parents called the diary “hearsay” and argued that the 22-page diary found in Ethan’s backpack on November 30, the day of the Oxford High School shooting, should be thrown out completely.
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“There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. or Mrs. Crumbley wrote anything in (Ethan’s) diary or ever saw the diary.” says the motion.
Additionally, he requests that over 25,000 text messages between Ethan and his friend as well as over 400 internet searches be dismissed.
According to the documents, there is no evidence that the messages between Ethan and his friend, identified in the request as “B”, were seen by the parents. The same argument has been made for internet searches.
The newspaper, internet searches, and text messages are all false, support the defense, and are inadmissible.
“(Ethan) makes claims in his diary and texts about how his parents did various things, said various things, and told his parents certain information. Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley dispute claims things that (Ethan) writes and must have the ability to confront that evidence if it will be used at trial. The only witness who can explain the contents of the diary and the statements to B is (Ethan),” the motion reads.
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Lawyers argue Ethan knew what would happen after the shooting.
“It is clear that (Ethan) anticipated and hoped that his actions would provoke a huge investigation, that he would become famous and that his complaints in the newspaper against his parents, his teachers, his school administrators, his beautiful daughters, others students and President Biden would be heard if he fired on the school,” the filing said.
The 22-page diary includes many statements made by my Ethan who said that “[p]People will talk about my shoot for years to come and I will have a huge impact on America.” He also reportedly wrote about his admiration for Nikolas Cruz, who was arrested, charged and convicted in the Parkland High School shooting in Florida who killed 17 of his classmates.
There are several entries in the diary that Smith and the lawyers say should be inadmissible, including: “I want all of America to see the darkness in me and hate me” and “I wish to hear the cries of the children during that I shoot at them”.
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The motion stated that any “reasonable person would be horrified to see (Ethan) laying out plans such as”[t]he first victim must be a pretty girl with a future so she can suffer like me. “” and that Ethan wanted people to know who he was. That’s why, according to the defense, he brought the newspaper to school with him: then he could take credit for what happened that day.
In the newspaper, Ethan also said he hoped the shooting would lead to the impeachment of President Joe Biden and the defense argues it could lead the jury’s deliberations to become a political debate instead of a debate over guilt.
Regarding the internet search history, the defense calls them inflammatory and said they were irrelevant to what the jury would decide and could inappropriately lead the jury to convict based on Ethan’s search history.
“There is no doubt that jurors will wish to convict the Crumbleys simply on the basis of the highly depraved nature of their son’s research,” the motion states.
In a separate motion, the attorneys said Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald tainted the jury panel with her public comments about the shooting and sending press releases.
It is not yet known when the judge will rule on the motion hearings.
What are James and Jennifer Crumbley accused of?
Over the course of two days in February, multiple pieces of evidence emerged suggesting James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to address concerns about Ethan Crumbley’s mental health. The couple are also accused of buying a gun for the 15-year-old on Friday November 26 – just four days before the shooting at Oxford High School.
According to authorities, Jennifer Crumbley posted on Instagram that she was at a shooting range firing a gun that was her son’s Christmas present a few days before the shooting.
During the preliminary examination, text messages between Jennifer Crumbley and Ethan Crumbley were presented which showed that for months before the shooting, the teenager was texting his mother about the hallucinations he had while he was home alone. On several occasions, she did not acknowledge receipt of these messages.
Read the text messages here.
Text messages between Ethan Crumbley and a close friend also revealed insight into the teenager’s relationship with his parents.
In an exchange on April 5, 2021, prosecutors described “quite a few” discussions about his mental state in which Ethan Crumbley told his friend he was “f—– up,” that he had hallucinations, and had asked his parents for help.