138 views 6 mins 0 comments

Judge denies James Crumbley’s effort to move trial out of Oakland County

In World
February 23, 2024

A judge has denied James Crumbley’s request for a change of venue, concluding the father of the Oxford school shooter can get a fair trial in Oakland County over his alleged role in the 2021 massacre.

However, the judge did not completely close the door on the matter, adding that Crumbley can renew his request for change of venue “during jury selection if necessary.”

Crumbley has argued that the heightened publicity of his son’s case and his wife’s trial — which ended in her conviction earlier this month — has tainted the jury pool in Oakland County and prejudiced too many people against him. His lawyer, Mariell Lehman, also has argued that too many people in Oakland County have been impacted by the deadly shooting, connected to either the families of the victims, others in the school or first responders, and that local jurors may feel compelled to convict.

Oakland County judge Cheryl Matthews swears in James Crumbley for a hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Crumbley will be tried on four counts of involuntary manslaughter after his son was the perpetrator in a mass shooting at Oxford High School killing four students. His wife Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty on all four counts in this landmark case holding parents responsible for the guns that are in their homes.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews disagreed.

Judge: Jurors were chosen easily for Jennifer Crumbley’s trial

“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 that they can be impartial. The defendant has not shown that those circumstances exist here,” Matthews wrote in her ruling Thursday.

“To suggest that the attention provided in this case has irretrievably, perhaps unconstitutionally, tainted 1.27 million people such that a jury panel of 17 citizens cannot be fairly drawn from throughout the county without even engaging in the effort of attempting to select a jury is hyperbolic.”

Matthews went on to cite the recent trial of Jennifer Crumbley, who on Feb. 6 was convicted by an Oakland County jury of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of four students murdered by her son. She is the first parent in America to be held criminally accountable for a child’s school shooting. James Crumbley faces the same charges.

Matthews noted that a jury for Jennifer Crumbley’s trial was picked from a pool of less than 50 prospective jurors, which, she concludes, “highlights the fact that while the proceedings have attracted a great deal of media attention, the level of knowledge that individual citizens have of this matter and the impact upon their lives greatly varies.”

Matthews earlier in the week granted a defense motion to allow each side discretion to dismiss up to eight prospective jurors after allowing only five peremptory strikes in Jennifer Crumbley’s trial.

The background of the case against the Crumbley parents

James Crumbley, whose trial is scheduled to begin March 5, is charged with involuntary manslaughter for buying his son a gun and not disclosing that to school officials when he had the opportunity. Four days after James Crumbley took his son to a gun store and bought a 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun, the teen used that same weapon to kill four fellow students at Oxford High School and injure seven other people.

James Crumbley shoots a glance at Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Joseph Shada as he exits the Oakland County Courtroom of Judge Cheryl Matthews on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Crumbley will be tried on four counts of involuntary manslaughter after his son was the perpetrator in a mass shooting at Oxford High School killing four students. His wife Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty on all four counts in this landmark case holding parents responsible for the guns that are in their homes.

Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty to all his crimes and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors have argued that the shooter was struggling with mental health issues, but that his parents ignored those issues and instead of getting their son help, bought him a gun. They also allege the Crumbleys failed to properly secure the weapon.

The Crumbleys have maintained they never saw any signs that would lead them to believe their son would harm anyone or shoot up his school, that the gun at issue was hidden unloaded in an armoire and that the bullets were hidden in another drawer, under some jeans. A key for the gun lock cable was hidden in a beer stein.

Tresa Baldas: [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Judge denies James Crumbley’s effort to move trial out of Oakland County

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

Support Independent Journalism with a donation (Paypal, BTC, USDT, ETH)
Avatar
/ Published posts: 43420

The latest news from the News Agencies