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Parents of alleged school shooter have hearing to decide if they will face trial

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office

(ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich.) — The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teenager accused of fatally shooting four students at a Michigan school, appeared in court on Tuesday for a hearing that will determine whether the two will face trial.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are accused of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly neglecting or failing to recognize warning signs about their son in the months before the shooting.

The prosecution asked District Court Judge Julie Nicholson to restrict communication between James and Jennifer Crumbley. The request came after the two were seen communicating in a court proceeding over Zoom, which the court granted.

Attorneys for the Crumbley parents asked the judge to postpone the hearing so they can further prepare, but the judge denied their motion.

James Crumbley had purchased the gun used in the rampage days before the shooting, according to prosecutors.

Deputies refused to remove the belly-chains from Crumbleys during Tuesday’s hearing due to their “national security status,” one of the deputies told the judge. This came when attorneys for the Crumbleys requested their hands be uncuffed so they could communicate with their attorneys by writing notes.

Kira Pennocki, the owner of a barn where the Crumbleys keep their horses, testified that Jennifer Crumbley had called her son “weird” and said he was “not out doing things like normal kids.”

Pennocki said Jennifer Crumbley told her that her son only had one friend and that he spent a lot of time online or playing games.

The prosecution showed text exchanges between Pennocki and Jennifer Crumbley in the days leading up to the shooting and after the shooting.

“My son ruined so many lives today,” Jennifer Crumbley said in a text to Pennocki on the day of the shooting.

Another witness, Andrew Smith, who worked with Jennifer Crumbley detailed his interactions with her on the day of the shooting.

Their son, Ethan Crumbley, will appear next in court on Feb. 22. Ethan Crumbley was charged with multiple felony charges, including terrorism, in connection with the rampage that killed four students and injured several others on Nov. 30. The 15-year-old was charged as an adult.

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