Michigan prosecutors requested in a court filing this week that the parents of Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley stop showing signs of affection during court hearings, arguing that it “makes a mockery” of their crimes.
The filing came about two months after James and Jennifer Crumbley, who each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter, mouthed the words “I love you” to each other during their Dec. 14, 2021 arraignment.
Since then, they have waved and blown kisses during proceedings held via Zoom, according to the motion filed Wednesday by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Markeisha Washington.
“Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley’s conduct in court makes a mockery of the crimes they are accused of committing,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s office said in a statement. “The courtroom is not a place for blowing kisses and sending secret signals. This is a time for families to pursue justice.”
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The motion also says the Crumbleys mouthed “additional words between each other while the attorneys were at the bench” during the Dec. 14 hearing.
“And when defendant Jennifer Crumbley exited the courtroom at the end of the hearing, there was additional nonverbal communication between her and defendant James Crumbley,” the motion states.
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On several other occasions, the pair mouthed “I love you” and made hand signals toward each other.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s office is now requesting “defendants not have any physical contact and not have any verbal or nonverbal communication of a personal nature during the court hearings,” prosecutors said.
McDonald said in December court filings that the couple had extramarital affairs while their son was struggling mentally, according to the Detroit Free Press.
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Ethan Crumbley is accused of fatally shooting four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School Nov. 30.
Authorities say Ethan Crumbley used a pistol James Crumbley bought on Black Friday, Nov. 26. McDonald referenced a social media post from Jennifer Crumbley when she said earlier this month that the parents purchased the pistol as a Christmas gift for their son.
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Both parents pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in December, where Jennifer Crumbley appeared to tear up while Judge Julie Nicholson read their charges aloud. The two are being held on $500,000 bond each.
McDonald also revealed in January that school officials met with Crumbley and his parents to discuss violent drawings just hours before the deadly rampage. The 15-year-old suspect was able to convince school officials during the meeting that the concerning drawings were for a “video game.” His parents “flatly refused” to take their son home.