Accused school shooter Ethan Crumbley plans an insanity defense: attorneys

Accused school shooter Ethan Crumbley plans an insanity defense: attorneys

Accused Michigan high school shooter Ethan Crumbley will plead insanity in the attack that killed four of his classmates, his attorneys announced Thursday.

“Please take notice that … Ethan Crumbley intends to assert the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense,” the 15-year-old suspect’s attorneys wrote in a one-sentence filing in Oakland County Circuit Court.

The announcement came the same day Crumbley, his parents and school officials were all named in a new lawsuit over the Nov. 30 mass shooting at Oxford High School.

The insanity defense will likely lead to mental health exams of the teen, who is charged as an adult and being held without bail. 

However, local prosecutor Karen McDonald has previously said the sophomore’s mental state should not prevent him from facing the charges, the Detroit Free Press noted.

Dozens of police, fire, and EMS personnel work on the scene of a shooting at Oxford High School, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, In Oxford Township, Mich.
Four students were killed when Crumbley allegedly opened fire at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021, in Oxford Township, Mich.
Todd McInturf/The Detroit News via AP

Crumbley faces 24 charges in all, including terrorism, four counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder for wounding six other classmates and a teacher. He pleaded not guilty earlier this month.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are also in custody, charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly allowing him to have the gun he used while also ignoring clear warning signs of his intended attack.

All three Crumbleys were named alongside Oxford school officials in a lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of the parents of Tate Myre, one of the four slain pupils, as well as students who witnessed the shootings. 

James Crumbley, right, looks towards his wife Jennifer Crumbley during a court hearing in Rochester Hills, Mich., Dec. 14, 2021.
James and Jennifer Crumbley are charged with involuntary manslaughter.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File
Ethan Crumbley
Ethan Crumbley faces 24 charges including terrorism, four counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File

It accuses the Crumbleys of reckless conduct, and school staff and officials of negligence in failing to prevent the shooting. It is seeking at least $25,000.

“We’re sad and heartbroken — our lives forever changed,” Myre’s father, William Myre, said at a news conference. 

“Our family will never be the same. We’re not doing good. All we do is walk around the house and think about Tate,” he said of his 16-year-old son.

Tate Myre
Tate Myre was killed at Oxford High School. His parents have filed a lawsuit against the Crumbleys and Oxford school officials.
Madisyn Baldwin
Madisyn Baldwin was killed in the school shooting.

“The ball was dropped … And there needs to be accountability here,” the grieving dad said, according to the Free Press.

The lawsuit was also filed on behalf of Chad and Meghan Gregory, whose son, Keegan, was hiding in a school bathroom with Justin Shilling, who was shot dead in front of him.

The shooter “ordered Keegan out of the stall and onto the floor, whereupon Keegan instead dashed out the bathroom door to safety,” the lawsuit read. 

“We’re changed forever,” Chad Gregory told the Free Press of the trauma his son suffered.

Justin Shilling
Justin Shilling was killed during the school shooting on Nov. 30, 2021.
Hana St. Juliana
Hana St. Juliana, 14, was killed during the Oxford High School shooting.

Also named as a plaintiff is Lauren Aliano, whose daughters, Sophia Kempen and Grace Kempen, were hiding in classrooms during the shooting.

In December, Jeffrey and Brandi Franz filed a pair of lawsuits in federal court and county circuit court seeking $100 million each against the district. Their 17-year-old daughter, Riley, was shot in the neck. Her 14-year-old sister, Bella, a ninth-grader, was next to her at the time.

The school district did not immediately respond to requests for comment, the Associated Press reported.

With Post wires

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