Oxford High School Shooting Suspect Ethan Crumbley to Plead Insanity, Undergo Psychiatric Evaluation

Ethan Crumbley is accused of opening fire at his Michigan high school on Nov. 30, killing four students and injuring several more

This booking photo released by the Oakland County, Mich., Sheriff's Office shows Ethan Crumbley, 15,
Ethan Crumbley. Photo: Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock

Ethan Crumbley, the teenager suspected of fatally shooting four students at his Michigan high school in November, will pursue an insanity defense in his criminal trial, according to a one-paragraph notice filed in court Thursday morning.

The filing, signed by his defense attorneys, reads: "Please take notice that pursuant to MCL 769.20a, the Defendant, Ethan Crumbley, intends to assert the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense and gives notice of his intention to claim such a defense."

The notice appears to refer to MCL 768.20a, which lays out guidelines on using insanity as a defense in a criminal case. According to the law, the court will respond to Ethan's notice by ordering him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation by a qualified professional, who will determine whether they believe he was mentally ill or intellectually disabled at the time of the shooting.

Ethan is accused of using a gun his parents bought him for Christmas to open fire at Oxford High School on Nov. 30.

Four teenagers were killed in the attack and seven other people, including a teacher, were wounded. The four victims who died from injuries sustained in the shooting were identified as Hana St. Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; Justin Shilling, 17; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17.

The 15-year-old was soon charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm. He initially pleaded not guilty to the 24 charges.

At Ethan's arraignment, authorities said they found two videos on his cell phone in which he talked about shooting and killing his schoolmates, CNN reported. According to the outlet, a journal found in the suspect's backpack also detailed plans for a school shooting.

James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley
James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley. Oakland County Sheriff's Office

Ethan's parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were also arrested after the shooting and charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Both pleaded not guilty.

"[James and Jennifer] had information long before Nov. 30 (six months prior to the shooting) that their son's only friend moved at the end of October, that the family dog died, that their son was sadder than usual, and that he was sending his mother disturbing texts about his state of mind," the prosecution previously argued in court documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press.

"Instead of paying attention to their son and getting him help, they bought him a gun," they wrote, per the outlet.

The news of Ethan's intention to plead insanity comes days after Oxford High School reopened for the first time since the November attack.

"We know it's going to be really difficult for our students and our staff to come back, because we're still grieving," Oxford Principal Steve Wolf said in a video announcement Sunday. "But throughout the last several weeks, we've been reminded again and again of one important fact: Our community is strong, and when we stick together, we are incredibly strong."

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