Jennifer and James Crumbley can't move their involuntary manslaughter trial outside of Oakland County.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews on Monday rejected defense arguments that the parents of an accused mass shooter can't get a fair trial in the county.
The judge said the county is large and diverse enough for the Crumbleys to get justice. They face four counts each of involuntary manslaughter in a trial scheduled to start Oct. 24 before Judge Kwame Rowe.
To try and assure a fair trial, the judge ordered that the prosecution and defense stop making public comments. She said all statements must be made in court, chambers or in court filings.
Ethan Crumbley, 16, is charged with murdering four Oxford High students last Nov. 30 and wounding seven others, including a teacher. His trial is tentatively scheduled to begin Sept. 6, and he faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Also at Monday's hearing, lawyers for the couple signaled plans to have Ethan testify about “extraneous matters” and not the shooting itself.
Additional developments, via the Associated Press:
Matthews sided with the couple's arguments that some evidence, such as the condition of their home, would not be admitted at trial. Matthews said she would allow the Oakland County prosecutor's office to admit statements written in their son's journal, his text messages to a friend and his internet searches.