Daily Briefs

Shooting suspect could be witness in parents’ trial

Lawyers representing the parents of a Michigan teenager charged in a shooting at Oxford High School that left four of his fellow students dead said Monday that they plan to call him to testify at the couple’s trial.

Defense attorney Shannon Smith told Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews that Ethan Crumbley’s testimony would be related to “extraneous matters” and not the Nov. 30 shooting.

“We need him as a witness in this trial,” said Smith, who represents Jennifer Crumbley. “There are just certain questions we would just not be able to ask. We do understand that.”

The disclosure came during court hearing in Pontiac, where Matthews ruled against the defense’s motion for a change of venue for James and Jennifer Crumbley’s involuntary manslaughter trial, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in late October.

Matthews sided with the couple’s arguments that some evidence, such as the condition of their home, would not be admitted at trial. Matthews said she would allow the Oakland County prosecutor’s office to admit statements written in their son’s journal, his text messages to a friend and his internet searches.

Ethan Crumbley faces murder and other charges. His trial is expected to start in January. His parents are accused of failing to keep the gun used in the shooting secure at home and failing to reasonably care for their son when he showed signs of mental distress. They have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald asked in court if “they want to call their son to somehow diminish — highlight — his role instead of his parents.”

But Smith said calling him to testify “is not about the defendants wanting to throw their son under the bus or make him look bad.” Smith added: “This is about our clients defending the case.”

 

Attorney provides ‘Update on State of Criminal Law’ 

The Oakland County Bar Association will present “An Update on the State of Criminal Law” as an online webinar on Thursday, July 28, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom.

This seminar will provide an overview of the most recent published Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases with a focus on sentencing decisions. The speaker will also review the most important decisions from the United States Supreme Court. Speaking at the webinar will be  Alona Sharon of Alona Sharon PC.

Credit has been approved with the Oakland County Bar Association for 1 Criminal credit and 1 Juvenile credit.

Cost for the webinar is $12 for OCBA members pre-registration and $25 for non-members pre-registration. Oakland County MIDC court appointed attorneys can attend for free.  To register for this webinar, visit www.ocba.org and click on “events.”


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