PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - Accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley will stay in the Oakland County Jail as he awaits trial for the murder of four other high school students, a judge has ruled.
Judge Kwamé Rowe issued his ruling Tuesday, ordering Crumbley to remain in the adult facility until trial, which has not yet been set.
"This Court, having heard the testimony of the witnesses, and having reviewed all exhibits and briefs finds that Defendant's current placement at the Oakland County jail is appropriate; therefore, Defendant's motion to transfer Defendant to Children's Village is DENIED…" read the filing.
Among the reasons Rowe cited were concerns that the manager of Children's Village had that she could not guarantee Crumbley wouldn't become a target of other residents at the facility. It could also cause "trauma impact" on other residents were Crumbley moved to the facility.
The juvenile detention center also would be unable to segregate the teen from other juveniles facing less serious charges.
Another review hearing is scheduled for March 24, at 9 a.m. by Zoom.
A total of three witnesses testified during the hearing when Crumbley was in court. It was part of a monthly hearing that juvenile defendants receive while in adult jails.
Under Michigan law, minors held in adult facilities must be evaluated every month by a judge. The first evaluation happened on Jan. 21 to determine if the adult facility is still appropriate. The January hearing was brief while the February hearing went for close to three hours as the prosecution and defense questioned witnesses regarding Crumbley's custody in the adult facility.
Crumbley was charged as an adult with the murder of four students, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17. According to authorities, Crumbley shot and killed the four students with a 9 mm Sig Sauer.
Following the hearing last Tuesday, Rowe said a ruling must be issued in writing, and said it would be released early this week.
Throughout the hearing, the prosecution argued that Crumbley is more sophisticated than most 15-year-olds.
"He expressed delight in torturing a family of baby birds and he wrote about the joy he received in listening to them squeal as he killed them. He spoke of his adoration of Adolph Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer. Specifically stating ‘when you die, you need to be remembered for a long time by doing something that will make people think of you until time ends’," Washington said.
The teen's descent into what he described as his "dark side" was outlined in 21 pages of the 15-year-old's journal, which was found in the bathroom Ethan allegedly entered then exited before he started shooting others.
Investigators say Ethan Crumbley wrote those words in his journal. One page of the journal, obtained by FOX 2, shows a thought-out, detailed plan.
There was a list of what he needed to carry out the plan, and the things the suspect intended to do:
"Shoot a girl in the head ... I will tell some close friends to not come to the school the day of the shooting," the journal read.
Washington discussed Crumbley describing his plan in detail last week and said that he always planned to turn himself in.
"In his journal, he described the type of gun he needed, who his first victim would be, and ultimately he expressed that he would surrender so that he could witness the pain and suffering that the caused," she said.
She also said that Crumbley ‘enjoyed his dark side’ and was fascinated with violence, weapons, and seeing others suffer.
"He bragged about wearing a mask to the public. He enjoyed his dark side. the defendant isn't who he appears to be," Washington said. "When the defendant committed those pre-meditated murders on Nov. 30th, he did so with the intent to be remembered, to terrorize the community, and to gain recognition."
Crumbley's attorney, Michelle Loftin, said Washington's case revolved around things that generally didn't happen on Nov. 30.
"Only one part of those factors are the allegations and the events surrounding the charges. There are a number of other things that the court must look at. I believe the evidence will show that in the time leading up to these events, that my client was hallucinating; that he was seeing things; that he was hearing voices; that he was not sleeping; he was extremely anxious, and he asked his parents to see a therapist," Loftin said.
"I do not think that is enough to argue that he is not being isolated," she said. "He interacts with a counselor or caseworker for minutes each day. The Oakland County Jail is not equipped for handling juveniles in respect to any kind of activity."
"Although he is educated and a very bright young man, I still think the appropriate place for him is the Children's Village," Loftin said.
Loftin also argued that Crumbley has no prior history or criminal charges and that his time at the jail has shown that he can follow instructions. She worried that his incarceration was having a negative effect on the teen's mental health.
But Rowe remained unpersuaded by that argument.
"Although Defendant is in isolation, he does not note any mental health concerns and the jail has not noted any concerns. He is eating, reading books, playing video games, and talking to others. As such, this Court is not persuaded that Defendant's isolation is having a negative impact on his current mental health," declared the judge.
"When he was placed at the jail, as a precautionary measure, he was placed on constant watch. They wanted to establish a baseline for his behavior. We also heard that he was taken off of constant watch. If Mr. Crumbley was someone who did not follow directions, did not follow orders, I would assume that he would still be on constant watch," she said.
Loftin said there have been no issues of misbehavior while at the jail and that he is a very smart kid but that shouldn't be used against him in this decision.
"We have been able to visit him, I think between the three of us, probably close to 20 times. Has he adjusted to life in the jail? He has. Do I think that that's the best place for him? I absolutely do not," Loftin said.