PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - It's been nearly six months since four students inside of Oxford High School were murdered and we're still a little more than four months away from the first trial linked to the shooting. But court motions filed by the parents of the accused shooter have shed light on some of the possible motive.
Based on fears that information about their son and their own lifestyles would unfairly sway a jury in the coming trial of James and Jennifer Crumbley, lawyers representing the parents filed a bevy of motions this week in hopes of tossing information that the Oakland County Prosecutor had presented in court.
From journal entries and text messages authored by Ethan Crumbley to lifestyle habits that both Crumbley parents engaged in before the mass shooting at Oxford High School, the defense team believes the details don't have relevance to the case and would lead to further problems during the trial.
"He (Ethan Crumbley) clearly anticipated that investigators would read his journal and explains the purpose behind his writings," reads a brief filed by attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman.
"(Ethan) also expressed the desire that his actions would be "so big that sleepy F****** Joe Biden will have to sleezy make an apologie (sic) to people'. The journal reads, ‘hopefully my shooting will cause Biden to get impeached…’"
In the motion, the attorneys argue that attitudes around political leaders, including President Biden and former President Donald Trump, have been more and more polarized. The motion states that the term ‘sleepy Joe Biden’ is directly associated with Trump who referred to his opponent in the 2020 election as such. However, regardless of the political leanings of any of the Crumbleys, James and Jennifer's attorney argue that should not be used against them in court.
"Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley should not be found guilty or not guilty depending on the attitudes of the jurors about Presidents Biden and Trump," the motion said. "The political beliefs by Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley are not the proximate cause of anything, or else every politician who ever spoke against President Biden would share responsibility for the anti-Biden attitudes of EC and thus be a proximate cause of the killings."
Their attorneys argue that turning the jury into a political debate would lead to longer deliberations and ‘an endless string of hung juries’ as not all jurors are likely to agree with Ethan's 'anti-Biden diatribe'.
Attorneys also asked to exclude multiple different items that were presented during the preliminary hearing including evidence of marital infidelity, the Nazi coin that Ethan bought on Amazon, the Crumbley parents alleged drug and alcohol use, their evidence of a messy home, Ethan's history of playing violent video games, evidence of Ethan's killing of a bird and keeping it in a jar, and Ethan's secret Instagram accounts.
All of this is being asked to be excluded as it does not have any relevance, the attorneys claim, that links the parents to the shooting that day or that they could have had any knowledge of what was going to happen.
A tentative trial for James and Jennifer is set for October 24, 2022.