Prosecutors and defense attorneys presented very different views of accused school shooter Ethan Crumbley on Tuesday during a hearing to determine whether he should be housed in a juvenile facility as he awaits trial.
Crumbley, 15, is accused of killing four of his classmates at Oxford High School on November 30 and wounding six others and a teacher, as CrimeOnline previously reported. He’s charged with 24 felonies, including first degree murder and terrorism.
He is currently housed a cell in the clinic at the Oakland County Jail to keep him separated from adult inmates, including his parents, who have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for failing to act on their son’s signs of violence and instead buying him a gun. His attorneys want him moved to a juvenile facility in Pontiac.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Oakland County assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins said that the teen wrote in texts and journal entries about what type of gun he needed to “maximize the number of kills,” who would be his first target, and his plan to surrender so he could “witness the pain and suffering he caused,” according to Detroit News.
Collins said Crumbley’s writings weighed “the pros and cons of going out in a blaze of glory” and “wrote about his expected life behind bars with the intention that he would be remembered forever.”
In December, she said, he asked for his “fan mail.”
“He knows that he’s going to have people admire him and people who hate him alike and he wants that notoriety,” Collins said. “Overall, he indicates (to juveniles he exchanges emails with) that it’s not so bad in here. I got a TV, I get good food, the deputies are nice. He also takes time to mention to some of his fans out there ‘my next court date is Feb. 22, maybe you can watch it on TV.'”
Crumbley, prosecutors said, was “calculated” and “enjoyed his dark side,” writing in one text that “the scary thing is, I like being this f***** up” and “in public, you have to put a mask on to blend in.”
Children’s Village, where defense attorneys would like Crumbley transferred, “mirrors the scene of the crime,” Collins said.
Another assistant prosecutor, Markeisha Washington, told the court of Crumbley’s admiration of Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer, noting that he wrote in his texts and journals about a plane to “rape, torture and ultimately kill and female classmate” and his “delight in torturing a family of baby birds.”
Defense attorneys, meanwhile, characterized Crumbley as a troubled teen who was begging for help and receiving none.
At the time of the shooting, attorney Paulette Loftin said, “He was not sleeping, he was extremely anxious. He was not eating properly … and he asked his parents to see a therapist.”
His isolation at the adult jail, she said, “is not beneficial whatsoever, and actually harms Mr Crumbley.”
Loftin said Crumbley had texted a friend that he needed help and that he “was thinking of calling 911 so I could go to the hospital.”
Crumley was “seeing things and hearing voices” and “had no one in his corner,” she said.
“He is completely isolated and for someone with mental health issues, isolation is horrific,” Loftin said.
But Heather Calcaterra, the manager of Children’s Village, testified Tuesday that the facility has no inmates charged with murder and that the facility has “staffing issues.” She also addressed what she called the “trauma impact” on other inmates at the facility and said she was “concerned for his safety. I do not know if he would be a target.”
Judge Kwame Rowe heard three hours of testimony and said he would likely issue a decision in writing early next week.
Meanwhile, the preliminary examination of James and Jennifer Crumbley, Ethan Crumbley’s parents, is expected to resume on Thursday.
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[Featured image: Ethan Crumbley leaves the courtroom on Tuesday. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP, Pool)]