Father of Michigan school shooter threatened to destroy prosecutor in case against him, sources confirm

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By journalsofus.com

The convicted father of the Oxford High School shooter said in jailhouse phone calls that he wanted to ruin the prosecutor in the case against him and that she would soon go to hell, sources confirmed.

James Crumbley made the comments to his sister while his case was pending, sources close to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed.

The new details were first reported Monday by the Detroit Free Press.

Last week, a Michigan jury found that Crumbley guilty of four counts of manslaughter for the shooting that his son gave him, killing four classmates.

James Crumbley and his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, who was convicted of the same charges in a separate trial in February, are the First parents in the United States to be accused. for a school shooting committed by his son.

James Crumbley allegedly told his sister that his goal in life was going to be to destroy Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, saying she would soon go to hell, that she better be afraid and that was it, sources confirmed. .

“There is a disagreement about what was said and the nature of those things,” Crumbley’s defense attorney, Mariell Lehman, said Monday, declining to expand on her characterization of Crumbley’s conversations and adding that lawyers on each side agreed to try to keep this out of the discussion. the media.

Lehman declined to comment further after NBC News confirmed the details of what Crumbley had allegedly told his sister.

When asked about Friday’s threats, McDonald said “he made a lot of threats,” but he didn’t want to elaborate because he didn’t want to pay more attention to it.

“I just don’t think it’s important to talk about it,” McDonald said then.

News of the alleged threatening statements first emerged publicly in the midst of Crumbley’s trial. On March 7, the judge signed an order after prosecution and defense attorneys reached an agreement to restrict your prison communications.

For the rest of the trial, Crumbley was only able to speak to his lawyer and legitimate clergy and do research to assist in his defense, but prosecutor David Williams said in court that restrictions could be lifted once a verdict was reached.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that Crumbley’s communications in jail had been limited “due to threatening statements.” Contacted on Monday, the office said it had nothing further to add.

While sources did not specify the frequency or exactly how many threats Crumbley allegedly made, they confirmed that there were several in 2022, 2023 and in January, before the parents’ trials began.

Ethan Crumbley killed four students. Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16 years old; Hana Santa Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, and injured seven other people when he opened fire with a handgun on November 30, 2021.

His father had purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer pistol he used days earlier and prosecutors say it was unsecured. McDonald last week called the events “atrocious” and said the shooting was foreseeable and that the parents I could have avoided it “with the slightest effort.”

At trial, school staff members testified that both of Crumbley’s parents were called to school on the day of the shooting because of a drawing their son had drawn depicting a gun and a person who had been shot. Neither man told staff he had access to a gun and said they couldn’t take him home, citing work.

James Crumbley’s defense maintains that he had no way of predicting that his son would start shooting hours later.

“He wished he had taken his son home that day. If he had known what was going to happen, he would have made different decisions,” Lehman said Monday., Adding that Crumley feels very bad about what happened to the families.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are scheduled to be sentenced on April 9. It is the first time the parents, who cannot communicate with each other from jail, have been able to see each other since they attended joint hearings together before their trials were separated. Each of them faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

This article was originally published in NBCNews.com

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