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Oxford school shooting trial delayed by appeal by parents

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teenager who killed four students in the shooting at Oxford High School, appear in court on Feb. 8.
Paul Sancya
/
AP
Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teenager who killed four students in the shooting at Oxford High School, appear in court on Feb. 8.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Tuesday postponed the January trial for the parents of the teenager who's pleaded guilty to killing four students at his high school — a victory for defense lawyers who argue that involuntary manslaughter charges don’t fit.

The court ordered the state appeals court to hear an appeal from James and Jennifer Crumbley.

The 16-year-old’s parents are accused of ignoring their son's mental health needs and making the gun accessible at home. Defense lawyers argue that the Crumbleys can’t be held criminally responsible for their son’s independent acts.

The Supreme Court said the appeal is limited to whether there was “sufficient evidence of causation” to send the Crumbleys to trial.

Justice Richard Bernstein was the lone dissenter, saying that issue could be addressed after a trial. Jury selection in Oakland County court had been scheduled for January 17.

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