OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — The first day of testimony in the criminal case of Jennifer and James Crumbley is already giving everyone a clear picture of what happened, and everybody involved - before and after the shooting.
The parents are charged with involuntary manslaughter. Their 15-year-old son Ethan is charged with murder and attempted murder in the November 30th mass shooting at Oxford High School.
Several parents came to court to see the case firsthand. Many others are watching on the live stream from court.
Some of the parents who came to court are suing over the shooting. They were too distraught to talk with us. Attorney Ven Johnson has one of two cases filed so far.
“This is tough stuff for everybody,” he told us in the hallway outside of the courtroom.
That lawsuit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court is suing 2 Oxford Counselors, the Dean of Students, and 3 teachers.
Ethan Crumbley had been searching for ammunition on his phone the day before the shooting that was discovered by a teacher. The morning of the shooting, Ethan made a drawing depicting a shooting discovered by another teacher.
Everyone learned in testimony today, the parents were called to the school. They had a 13-minute meeting and refused to take their son out. Ethan was returned to class. His backpack was not searched.
That afternoon, school surveillance video shows Ethan doing the shooting killing 4 and injuring 7 others.
More witnesses to come including as many as 5 school employees.
“They all, they all had control at that point, not just the parents, not just them. They all had control, and they all blew it,” Attorney Johnson told us outside of court.
In the first case filed by Attorney Geoffrey Fieger on behalf of injured students, school attorneys on Friday filed amended affirmative defenses.
They include governmental immunity, they can’t be sued, they deny they were negligent in any manner, that defendants (school officials) were not required to protect plaintiffs (students) from the violence and this item that has many parents at the courthouse and in Oxford very upset:
Defendants will show and rely upon at the time of trial that Plaintiffs had preexisting medical conditions which are a contributing proximate cause of the injuries complained of.
That has many parents at the courthouse and in oxford asking if this is blaming the students for their own injuries from the shooting.
“You're not injured because of that. You're injured because of something else that was going on inside of your body. Honestly, it's offensive. My clients obviously are absolutely insulted and it is complete, like, there's no factual basis for it whatsoever, nor do they even need to file that type of a response in that document,” Attorney Johnson said.
We emailed the school and attorney and have not heard back.
The criminal case will continue to be watched as more details come out.