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Crime: School District Ordered to Preserve Electronic Evidence Amid Oxford High Shooting Lawsuits

Ethan Crumbley's Parents 'Resisted the Idea' of Pulling Him From School Before Shooting

  Ethan Crumbley's Parents 'Resisted the Idea' of Pulling Him From School Before Shooting The Oakland County Prosecutor said drawings found on Crumbley's desk contained a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words "the thoughts won't stop help me."During a press conference on Friday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald explained that on the morning of the shooting, which occurred on Tuesday, the alleged shooter, Ethan Crumbley, and his parents were summoned to a meeting with a school counselor. The meeting was prompted by a teacher who discovered several drawings on Crumbley's desk that alarmed her "to the point that she took a picture of it on her cell phone.

A district judge has ordered the Oxford Community Schools district to preserve all electronic evidence relevant to last week's shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan. The request comes amid several large lawsuits following the tragedy.

One of the lawyers representing Oxford High shooting victims alleged that the school district is destroying evidence related to the incident, including a LinkedIn profile of a former employee that was deleted after the shooting. Above, signage on display in windows of businesses to show support for Oxford High School on December 7 in Oxford, Michigan. © Photo by Emily Elconin/Getty Images One of the lawyers representing Oxford High shooting victims alleged that the school district is destroying evidence related to the incident, including a LinkedIn profile of a former employee that was deleted after the shooting. Above, signage on display in windows of businesses to show support for Oxford High School on December 7 in Oxford, Michigan.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg issued the order late Friday after lawyers alleged that the district is destroying evidence related to the mass shooting, according to the Detroit Free Press.

EXPLAINER: How unusual to charge parents in school shooting?

  EXPLAINER: How unusual to charge parents in school shooting? Guns used in U.S. school shootings have often come from the homes of young perpetrators, but parents are rarely charged for the violence that occurs, experts say. That's what makes the case against Ethan Crumbley's parents uncommon, following the fatal shooting of four students at Oxford High School in southeastern Michigan. Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said Jennifer and James Crumbley ignored opportunities to intervene, just a few hours before the bloodshed.They're charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, while Ethan, 15, is charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes.

On November 30, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley fatally shot four students and injured several others. The teen has been charged with murder.

"Not only did defendants fail to take necessary steps to preserve the evidence, but they willfully destructed the evidence by deleting the webpages and social media accounts," lawyer Nora Hanna wrote in a Friday filing, according to the Detroit Free Press. "Plaintiffs cannot continue to be blindsided by the defendants by having to search for what evidence is being destroyed or altered."

Hanna is representing Oxford students Riley Franz, 17, and Bella Franz, 14. Riley was shot in the neck while her sister Bella witnessed the attack as they both were exiting a bathroom.

Oxford Police, Prosecutor Face Criticism for Allowing School Shooter's Parents To Get Away

  Oxford Police, Prosecutor Face Criticism for Allowing School Shooter's Parents To Get Away One person on Twitter asked if the situation "could get anymore messed up."James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, were reportedly labeled as "fugitives" by county officials after they left Oxford. Police had been attempting to arrest the pair on involuntary manslaughter charges after Ethan allegedly killed four students during a mass shooting.

On Thursday, attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced two $100 million lawsuits against the school district.

Lawyers claimed on Friday that some evidence on social media has gone missing or was destroyed, including a LinkedIn profile of one of the defendants mentioned in the lawsuit.

Oxford school attorney Timothy J. Mullins denied these allegations and said that the school district has been working with investigators on the case.

"It's a lie. It's disgusting," Mullins said, according to the Detroit Free Press "People think that the school district is withholding information? Everything that we have has been given to the prosecutor. Everything they want we've given to them."

Mullins said the employee behind the LinkedIn profile hasn't worked at the school district in over a year. "This man has been defamed," he added. "I've asked Fieger to remove him from the lawsuit and he won't."

Parents of Oxford High School Shooting Suspect Plead Not Guilty Hours After Arrest

  Parents of Oxford High School Shooting Suspect Plead Not Guilty Hours After Arrest A judge in Michigan imposed a combined $1 million bond on the couple.James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty to each of the four counts against them during a hearing on Zoom, the Associated Press reported.

Fieger said during the press conference on Thursday that the lawsuits are alleging that the counselors, teachers and school administrators failed to protect Oxford High School students, and "therefore violated the civil rights of the Oxford High School students who were injured and killed during this slaughter."

In a Friday statement reported by The Detroit News, Mullins called the lawsuits "bombastic stunts masked as legal filings [that] do a disservice to the people of Oxford and the people of Michigan."

"School employees continue to receive death threats, and Mr. Fieger is throwing gasoline on the fire with his shameless, callous and irresponsible tactics and angry rhetoric," he added.

Judge Berg did not mention the allegations of evidence destruction in his order on Friday.

The school district has been asked to produce information relevant to the shooting, including all of Crumbley's files, potentially available footage of his parents Jennifer and James, communications about possible past threats, and the employment records of all staff, counselors, and teachers, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Teen Admits He Made Threat Against School to Get Day Off After Oxford Shooting: Police

  Teen Admits He Made Threat Against School to Get Day Off After Oxford Shooting: Police Police said the suspect "stated that he saw all the other areas schools were closed due to threats and he just wanted a day off of school."Michigan State Police said that on Thursday, they were dispatched to Armada High School following a threat made on Snapchat stating that Armada Area Schools would be "next" following the Oxford shooting.

Newsweek contacted Hanna, Fieger, the court and the school district for comment and will update this piece with any response.

Related Articles

  • Who Is Geoffrey Fieger? Columbine Attorney Representing Oxford School Shooting Victims
  • Lawyer in Oxford Shooting Suit, Geoffrey Fieger, Blames School Officials for 'Slaughter'
  • Oxford School District, Officials Facing $100M Lawsuits From Parents of 2 Students
  • Oxford School District Declines Michigan AG's Offer to Investigate What Led to Shooting
  • Police to Search Home of Artist Who Allowed Crumbleys to Stay in His Detroit Studio

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Why Ethan Crumbley's Parents Face Manslaughter Charges When Only One Allegedly Bought Gun .
James Crumbley bought the gun Ethan allegedly used in the November 30 shooting, but his wife is also facing charges of involuntary manslaughter.Some people have questioned why Jennifer Crumbley received the same four counts of involuntary manslaughter as her husband when McDonald has stated the father bought the weapon for Ethan.

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