PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) – For nearly three months, Ethan Crumbley has been incarcerated in Oakland County Jail following the Oxford High School shooting. He was in court on Tuesday for a hearing on a request to transfer the teenager out of Oakland County Jail and into a juvenile detention center. During the hearing, we learned details about his access to education in prison and more, including his commissioner funds.
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 9mm Sig Sauer.
Under Michigan law, minors detained in adult facilities must be evaluated monthly by a judge. The first assessment took place on January 21 to determine if the adult facility is still appropriate. The January hearing was brief while the February hearing lasted nearly three hours as the prosecution and defense questioned witnesses regarding Crumbley’s custody at the adult facility.
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Three witnesses were called to testify, two from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and one from the Children’s Village, the juvenile facility. During the hearing, it was revealed that Crumbley had access to the Harry Potter books and also had what Oakland County Sheriff Captain Thomas Bida called “quite excessive” funds in his police station.
The first witness called was Christina Belling of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, which works with inmates at the jail, including Crumbley. She said she met Crumbley almost every day from his first arrest on December 1, 2021 until mid-January. She now meets him twice a week.
Belling spoke about her mental health and said she was aware she was able to provide him with Harry Potter books while in Oakland County Jail.
Ethan Crumbley suspected of shooting at Oxford High School
Heather Calcaterra, director of the Children’s Village, then testified. She Calcaterra oversees the facility that houses and treats juvenile offenders and is on the same campus as the Oakland County Jail.
Read: Parents ignored signs of abuse for months before shooting, prosecutor says
Those detained there are classed as residents and she said they also have access to reading materials, including books and magazines.
One of the main differences between the two institutions is access to education. At the Oakland County Jail, Crumbley has access to games, educational materials and more on a tablet shared among inmates. In the Children’s Village, residents attend school for 7 hours a day, taught by educators from the Waterford School District.
Another revelation that came out on Tuesday was the amount of funds in Crumbley’s commissioner’s account.
Bida said Crumbley entered the facility with no money in his account, but the amount that was there now, compared to other inmates, was “quite excessive”. These funds can be used to purchase toiletries including toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
Bida said anyone could contribute to his account but did not specify exactly how much was in his account.
Additionally, Crumbley has access to e-mail and regularly receives messages. Loftin said the emails came from strangers who contacted him on their own.
“These are individuals, mostly women, who have taken it upon themselves to message him and wish him luck and message him extremely frequently,”
Bida was the last witness called on Tuesday and Judge Kame Rowe is expected to issue his final ruling, which must be in writing, by early next week. He has requested additional briefs from the prosecution and defense by Friday.
Learn more about what was discussed at the hearing on this page.