James Crumbley Trial: Day 1 of jury selection ends without seating

The trial of James Crumbley starts Tuesday with jury selection as a judge begins the process of sorting through hundreds of potential candidates.

The father of the Oxford High School shooter is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. But before prosecutors can present their case, 12 jurors must be selected. FOX 2 will provide updates throughout the day as selection proceeds. Refresh this story for the latest. 

James' wife, Jennifer Crumbley, was found guilty of the same charges during a jury trial in early February. James's trial will have some similarities to her case, though how prosecutors approach unveiling evidence may come with some differences.

4:47 p.m. - Judge ends for the day

Judge Matthews told the courtroom she expects to have a jury seated by the end of the day Wednesday. 

Only one juror was excused between the two legal teams. 

4:35 p.m. - Prosecution continues asking questions

The prosecution used one of its strikes to excuse one of the potential jurors in the case. 

The judge decided to wrap things up for the day after that. Jury selection will continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

4 p.m. - "What does access mean to you?"

The defense also asked each juror about "allowing access" and all of the elements that play into what that means. 

"What does access mean to you?"

She offered one scenario of accessing a sharp object in a home before the prosecution objected. The judge allowed the questions.

Other kinds of access include permission to use something or getting to something. The jurors offered varying kinds of explanations that related to life at home. 

3:26 p.m. - Defense starts questioning

Defense attorney Mariell Lehman kicked off her round of questions with a fun one: how many of the potential jurors were excited to be there.

2:57 p.m. - Judge calls for short break

After McDonald finished asking potential jurors questions about their background, feelings toward guns, and experiences with law enforcement, the judge called a short break. 

McDonald's questions also focused more on mental health than in the previous trials' jury selection - that could a good indicator for what will be discussed during the trial and how the prosecution will approach its case. 

2:16 p.m. - Few excusals so far

Several people raised their hands when asked if they had heard about the case and had read about the previous trial. One woman hadn't - she said she didn't have a TV. Two others who were asked about their media consumption said they don't have social media. 

So far, nobody has been asked to be excused and had their request denied. 

Matthews asked one person on the bench if James Crumbley would want them as a juror. "Oh, that's a good question," they replied. 

She said "I believe everyone should be treated individually."

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald began questioning the potential jurors, starting with people's previous knowledge of the case. 

1:45 p.m. - Questioning begins

A few jurors were excused with cause for medical reasons and prior commitments. 

Many of the jurors are parents and some are also gun owners. Nobody's feelings about guns has spurred a dismissal from the judge. 

1:26 p.m. - First jury pool enters

Fifteen random individuals were selected for the bench as the first round of jurors. 

The judge read instructions to the jurors after that. "We need your help," Matthews told the members first selected to the bench. 

1:10 p.m. - James returns to court

Before the prosecution and defense could start asking potential jurors questions, the court had the roughly 300 people fill out questionnaires Tuesday morning. 

The process isn't always used, but for some high profile cases it's necessary to ensure a fair and impartial jury can be seated. 

After a morning without much movement, both Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald and defendant James Crumbley were in Matthews' courtroom by 1:10 p.m.

9:45 a.m. - James Crumbley enters court

James Crumbley, 47, arrived in Judge Cheryl Matthews' courtroom Tuesday morning. He was given headphones to help with his hearing. 

Potential jurors are currently filling out questionnaires that were given to help narrow down the number of people who could serve on the bench. 

Like Jennifer Crumbley's trial, the case is an emotionally charged one and finding 12 people who could hear the trial without bias could take time. 

Matthews intends to call the first round of people as soon as that's finished. 

Around 300 potential jurors were called to the courthouse for selection. 

What is James Crumbley charged with?

James Crumbley is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count for each student killed by his son at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. 

A jury found his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, guilty of the same charges in early February. She will be sentenced April 9.

What did James Crumbley do?

James Crumbley is accused of buying his son the gun used to kill four people and injure others. 

His son pleaded guilty to all charges against him and is now in prison. During his plea hearing he admitted that he gave James the money to buy the gun.

During Jennifer's trial, she testified that the gun was her husband's responsibility; she said she was not comfortable with guns and was not involved in handling or buying it. She also testified that James had hidden the gun before their son took it to school.

The parents are also accused of ignoring concerns about their son's mental health.

Witnesses called by the prosecution during Jennifer's trial described a meeting between the Crumbley parents and school officials the morning of the shooting. The parents were called after violent drawings were discovered on their son's schoolwork. 

During this meeting, a school counselor told the parents to get their son mental health help as soon as possible and recommended that they take him home from school. However, the parents chose not to take him home.

What kind of sentence is James Crumbley facing?

Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison in Michigan. The court does have the discretion to do consecutive sentencing, which, due to the four counts, would be 60 years. However, the maximum he could get will likely be 15 years.