Defense announced insanity defense for Ethan Crumbly

Ethan Crumbley, 15, of Oxford, Michigan. [Image credit: Oakland County Sheriff's Office]

Oxford, Michigan: Lawyers representing 15-year-old Ethan Crumbly have filed papers in Oakland County on Thursday, January 27, indicating that they will be pursuing an insanity defense for their client, alleging that he had limited mental capacity at the time of the school shooting.


"The defense attorney has to prove that the defendant suffers from a mental illness," Dr. Gerald Sheiner was quoted as saying by Fox 2 Detroit. "Under the law, the term mental illness means substantial disorder of thought in mood, severe major depressive disorder, bipolar, schizophrenia, or some sort of psychosis" which interferes with an individuals ability to differentiate between right and wrong.


The next step in the process will be a psychological evaluation.


While Crumbly had previously texted about 'demons' or 'ghosts' to his mother, his journal writings and drawings indicate a clear sense of premeditation for the shooting. Videos were found on his cell phone after his arrest which depicted him torturing animals.


It is unknown if his parents knew of the videos or not.


Crumbly previously plead not guilty to the charges against him of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm while committing a felony.


Since his arrest and being charged as an adult, he has been held in the adult jail where he has been isolated from the adult inmates. He made an appearance in court last week for a hearing which discussed whether or not those arrangements are best, or if he should be transferred to a juvenile facility.


The same day as lawyers filed for the insanity defense, another lawsuit was announced. This one is against Oxford school officials- specifically the dean of students, two counselors and three teachers- as well as Crumbly's parents and Crumbly himself.


The lawsuit was filed in Oakland County Circuit Court on behalf of the parents of Tate Myre, one of the children killed in the shooting, and other students that were witnesses to the shooting.


This is the second lawsuit filed against the district for not doing enough to prevent the shooting. In December the parents of Riley Franz filed a pair of lawsuits in federal court seeking damages of $100 million each. Riley was shot in the neck during the shooting and her 14-year-old sister, Bella, was next to her at the time.