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Judge rejects request to send accused Oxford High School shooter from jail back to juvenile center

prison bars
A district court judge says the 15-year-old school shooting suspect will remain in the Oakland County Jail.

Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old Oxford High School student accused of the November 30 school shooting at Oxford High School, will remain incarcerated at Oakland County Jail, separated from adults.

That's despite a request made at a Monday preliminary exam conference by Deborah McKelvy, Crumbley's guardian ad litem (a lawyer appointed to represent the best interests of a child in a legal procedure).

McKelvy said that even though Crumbley was physically separated from adult inmates, he could still hear them, a potential violation of state law regarding the incarceration of minors.

McKelvy asked District Court Judge Nancy Carniak to move Crumbley back to Oakland County Children's Village, the county's medium-security facility for juveniles where he was first taken after the alleged crimes. She said he would receive more services at the Children's Village, including being able to attend classes, and suggested that because Crumbley did not have a record prior to the "incident," he would not be a threat to other juveniles at the facility.

McKelvy added that other juveniles accused of murder have been incarcerated at Children's Village.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Marc Keast objected to McKelvy's characterization, calling Crumbley's actions, "premeditated mass murder" that specifically targeted juveniles. He said Crumbley was monitored every 15 minutes and has access to mental health care and other necessary services.

Carniak denied McKelvy's request, saying, "his placement is appropriate." She ordered prosecutors to confer with jail officials to ensure that Crumbley would no longer be within earshot of adults at the jail.

Attorneys on both sides agreed to an extension of the statutory deadline for receiving a preliminary exam, given the massive amount of evidence still being compiled in the case.

Preliminary exams must show the district court judge that a crime has taken place and that the accused is more likely than not the person who has committed the crime. The rescheduled preliminary exam conference in this case will be January 7.

Crumbley is accused of killing four of his classmates, and injuring six other students and a teacher.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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