In The News

In The News

Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Oxford School Shooter Case - The Next Turn

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols

It was an interesting moment in the sentencing hearing for Ethan Crumbley. Crumbley is the shooter in the Oxford school massacre on November 30, 2021. As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Crumbley made the following statement to Judge Kwame Rowe during his sentencing hearing:

"We are all here because of me today, what I did ... because of what I chose to do. I could not stop myself," Crumbley said, adding: "My parents did not know what I planned to do, they are not at fault."


In theory, Crumbley was supposed to cooperate with prosecutors if he pleaded guilty and would get the opportunity to ask for a sentence that included parole - in other words a term of years. It almost seems as if he resigned himself to a life without parole sentence and he literally asked the judge to give the survivors "what they want" and lock him up without the key.

The statement that he made appears to absolve his parents of any blame for his conduct. His parents are charged with involuntary manslaughter, each one faces a separate trial. Will the prosecutors in those trials call the shooter to testify against his mom and his dad? Will either defense attorney call the killer to testify on behalf of his respective parent? These are now questions worth pondering if you are following the Oxford School prosecutions.

The charging theory against the parents is novel: that they engaged in decision-making that was grossly negligent parenting and that they knew or should have known that the decisions that they made either created or increased the danger that their son would commit the murders.

It seems pretty likely that one or both of the parents are going to go to trial - this is a trial that will be followed around the world because it is the first time that the parents of a mass school shooter have been charged in the crimes.

Of note: Judge Kwame Rowe is a graduate of the Cooley Law School in Lansing and one of the younger and more recent appointments by Governor Whitmer - August 2021. Judge Rowe appeared to eschew some of the judicial grandstanding that has occurred in highly-publicized sentencing hearings in the United States over the last several years.

Need a Lawyer?

Get an online consultation or call 517-432-9000

Online Consultation »

Do the Medicines You Take Criminalize Your Driving?

Family Law encompasses a broad range of issues that occur between family members. Our team can help you in all of these areas...

More »

Personal Injury / Traumatic Brain Injury Experts

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the most frightening and serious forms of injury...

More »

Criminal Defense

We are skilled, experienced and committed to resuts in both the serious and misdemenor criminal case

Personal Injury

We have successfully represented clients with serious and traumatic injuries

What our clients are saying

more testimonials »

Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.