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Oxford school shooter Ethan Crumbley won't testify in mother's trial

A memorial at Oxford High School (pictured, 2021) honors four who were slain. On Friday, Oxford, Mich., school shooter Ethan Crumbley was barred by the judge from testifying in his mother manslaughter trial. Both his parents face charges as prosecutors attempt to hold them accountable for gifting the gun used in the shootings that killed four. File Photo by Nic Antaya/EPA-EFE
A memorial at Oxford High School (pictured, 2021) honors four who were slain. On Friday, Oxford, Mich., school shooter Ethan Crumbley was barred by the judge from testifying in his mother manslaughter trial. Both his parents face charges as prosecutors attempt to hold them accountable for gifting the gun used in the shootings that killed four. File Photo by Nic Antaya/EPA-EFE

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The judge in the manslaughter trial of Jennifer Crumbley said Friday she will bar Crumbley's son from testifying in the case because the convicted Oxford school shooter intends to plead the Fifth Amendment.

Jennifer Crumbley was set to testify in the trial Friday that is the first of its kind in U.S. history to try to hold a parent accountable for a school shooting.

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Defense attorney Shannon Smith indicated Thursday the defense would attempt to show how Ethan Crumbley manipulated his mother for months before the shooting.

But on Friday Judge Cheryl Matthews said she couldn't allow Ethan Crumbley to testify because he hasn't waived his privilege regarding confidential medical records.

Smith wanted Ethan Crumbley to take the stand to cross-examine him about text messages entered into evidence and what Ethan told counselors about his parents.

That evidence indicated Ethan Crumbley asked his parents for help and they ignored him prior to the shootings.

But Smith maintained she has evidence that Ethan Crumbley never asked his parents for help and lied to the person he was texting.

She argued that to challenge the text evidence she needs to cross-examine Ethan Crumbley. But if he and his therapists aren't allowed to testify, she told the judge, the text messages also should not be allowed as evidence in the case.

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"You are not allowed to put someone on the stand knowing they are going to take the Fifth," Matthews said.

Both Jennifer and James Crumbley, Ethan Crumbley's parents, face separate manslaughter trials for allegedly gifting a gun to Ethan while ignoring red flags about his mental health and danger to others.

Smith said Ethan Crumbley's attack that killed four Oxford High School students was unexpected and not forseeable by his mother.

Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty in Oct. 2022 to 24 felony counts in the shooting. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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