Accused Oxford School Shooter Gets Public Defender, His Parents Hire High-Powered Legal Team

The 15-year-old boy charged in the deadly Oxford High School shooting last month has been given a court-appointed lawyer while his parents have hired a pricey, two-woman law firm that specializes in criminal sexual conduct, child abuse, and internet crimes.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Paulette Michel Loftin has been appointed to represent Ethan Crumbley, charged with killing four fellow students and wounding six more plus a teacher in a shooting rampage on November 30. Loftin would not comment on the case, she told the newspaper, until she’d had time to review “thousands of pages of discovery.”

Jennifer and James Crumbley have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors learned James Crumbley bought the gun used in the shooting as an early Christmas present for his son. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald also said the Crumbleys didn’t appear to take disturbing behavior by their son on the day before and the morning of the shooting, even though they were called in to speak with school officials, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

Instead, she said, they insisted he be sent back to class. Three hours later, he allegedly opened fire. By that evening, the Crumbleys had fled Oxford. They were captured early on December 4 at an artist’s studio in Detroit.

Their attorneys, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman of Smith Lehman, said the Crumbleys did not flee and intended to turn themselves in, even as law enforcement — including the US Marshals Service — were conducting a manhunt for them.

Smith and Lehman mostly tout their experience defending sexual misconduct cases, and in fact, Smith represented convicted child molester and former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nasser against charges related to the sexual assault of nine women in 2018.

Nasser has been convicted on a variety of sexual misconduct charges, including child pornography and child molestation, and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Smith has also represented Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who federal investigators say was part of a secret network of doctors performing female genital mutilation, and former Michigan State football player Josh King, who was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.

King was convicted on seduction charges and sentenced to three years’ probation. Nagarwala’s case is ongoing, Newsweek reported.

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