A Teen Who Killed 4 at a Michigan High School Is Showing ‘Disturbing Behavior’ in Jail

A Teen Who Killed 4 at a Michigan High School Is Showing ‘Disturbing Behavior’ in Jail
Ethan Crumbley during his pre-trial hearing at Oakland County Courthouse it Pontiac, Mich. on Oct. 24, 2022.(Clarence Tabb Jr./Detroit News via AP, File)

DETROIT—A teenager awaiting sentencing for killing four students at a Michigan high school has been “exhibiting sporadic, disturbing behavior” in jail, prosecutors said, just a month before a key hearing to determine if he will serve a life prison term.

The disclosure about Ethan Crumbley, 17, was made in a court document this week and at a routine monthly hearing Friday in Oakland County court.

Prosecutors did not offer any details in public but shared them privately with Judge Kwame Rowe and Crumbley’s attorneys.

Crumbley pleaded guilty to murder, terrorism, and other charges for a mass shooting at Oxford High School in 2021. Four fellow students were killed and seven more people were wounded.

Crumbley is being held at the county jail but is kept away from adults who are also in custody.

He has “started exhibiting sporadic, disturbing behavior,” assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said in a court filing. “This behavior has been documented via report and body-worn camera from jail personnel responding to various incidents. It is not readily apparent what the impetus for or cause is of this behavior.”

Crumbley was 15 at the time of the shooting. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence in Michigan. But because of his age, Crumbley is entitled to a hearing where Rowe will hear testimony about his family life, mental health, and other factors and decide whether a shorter sentence would be appropriate.

Keast and Crumbley’s attorneys said they still believe he is mentally competent for the sentencing phase of the case. The hearing starts July 27.

Separately, his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, face involuntary manslaughter charges. They’re accused of ignoring their son’s mental health needs and making a gun accessible at home.

By Ed White

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