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Jennifer, James Crumbley Assigned Individual Lawyers To Avoid Potential Conflicts Of Interest

(CBS DETROIT) - Conflicts of interest is the reason the judge on Tuesday assigned different attorneys for the parents of the accused Oxford High School shooter.

James and Jennifer Crumbley appeared before Judge Cheryl Matthews in an Oakland County Circuit courtroom and learned they'll be meeting separately with independent Attorneys.

"Joint representation of co-defendants charged in criminal matters by attorneys from the same law firm is uncommon there is great concern that there may be a conflict of interest incapability may arise at any moment," Matthews said.

Although they are being charged separately with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each from the Nov. 30 deadly shooting at Oxford High School, the parents of the accused shooter are being represented by attorneys from the same law firm.

It's something Matthew says could cause issues down the road.

"The lawyer providing representation in this matter will not be permitted to also testify. These concerns need to be addressed both in the short term and in the long term in the event that these matters go to a jury trial," she said.

Matthews says matters like this can cause a mistrial. She's assigning the independent attorneys to each of the Crumbelys, but not as replacements for their current ones.

"For the limited purpose of advising each defendant in the matter with regard to joint representation and the potential for conflicts of interest," Matthews said.

The Crumbleys will have the chance to waive any potential conflict of interest during their next pre-trial hearing at 10 a.m. on April 19.

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