Suspected Michigan high school shooter Ethan Crumbley has asked how he can access his fan mail, according to the prosecutor arguing he should remain in custody before his trial.
“He asked in jail, ‘How do I get my fan mail? How do I get my hate mail?’ He wants that notoriety,” assistant Oakland County prosecutor Kelly Collins said in court Tuesday.
Crumbley is charged with terrorism and first-degree murder in the Nov. 20, 2021, shootings at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit, which left four students dead and six students and a teacher injured.
Crumbley has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers are reportedly preparing an insanity defense.
During Tuesday’s hearing in Oakland County circuit court, the defense requested Crumbley, 15, be transferred to a youth detention facility in Pontiac, a nearby suburb in Michigan.
According to Crumbley’s lawyers, it is impossible for their client to be out of sight and sound of adult inmates at the Oakland County Jail, which violates a federal statute on juvenile detainment.
The defense said the conditions at the jail are affecting Crumbley’s already-fragile mental health.
“This is someone who was having a mental health crisis and no one did a thing,” attorney Paulette Loftin said. “He had no one in his corner to get the help that he desperately needed.
“He is completely isolated. Isolation is horrific.”
Loftin also pointed to his parents’ actions, including reportedly not letting Crumbley see a therapist, and buying the gun allegedly used in the shooting.
The prosecution, however, claims Crumbley has welcomed his notoriety, sending a message to one supporter via a tablet, encouraging them to watch him on TV during his hearing.
Crumbley also allegedly outlined a plan to stalk and rape a classmate and wrote in a journal about his desire to survive the shooting so he could see the suffering that occurred afterward.
“He wants to be remembered,” Collins said. “His actions were not impulsive. They were calculated, rehearsed, and well thought out.”
Oakland County circuit judge Kwame Rowe said he would release a written decision next week.
Heather Calcaterra, a manager at Children’s Village, the facility Crumbley’s attorney wants him to be transferred to, testified that there were a number of concerns with the idea.
“We’ve never had a situation like this involving a school shooting,” she said. “I have concerns about the trauma impact on other young people. … This is a devastating situation and we don’t know what his presence in our classrooms – how that may trigger or impact other young people.”
“I would also be concerned about his safety,” Calcaterra said.
An official from the Oakland County Jail testified that Crumbley has access to a tablet to play games or take educational courses, can watch TV and read books sees a mental health professional once a week.
Jennifer and James Crumbley, his parents who were charged with manslaughter after briefly going on the run, are also being held at the jail.
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