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Judge denies James Crumbley's request for change of venue for upcoming trial

James Crumbley, father of Oxford High School shooter, requests witnesses to be excluded from trial
James Crumbley, father of Oxford High School shooter, requests witnesses to be excluded from trial 07:16

(CBS DETROIT) - An Oakland County judge has denied James Crumbley's request for a change of venue for his upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial, the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office confirmed Thursday. 

Defense attorney Mariell Lehman had argued that James Crumbley, the father of the Oxford High School shooter, could not get a fair trial in Oakland County. 

"They have been clearly convicted in the court of public opinion," Lehman said in a court filing last week. 

James Crumbley's trial is scheduled for March 5. He is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the Oxford High School shooting, where his son killed four students, Justin Shilling, Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, and Hana St. Juliana, and injured seven other people on Nov. 30, 2021.  

On Wednesday, a hearing was held before Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews revolving around what witnesses will testify in James Crumbley's trial. 

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast said Wednesday that they plan to call two witnesses, identified as K.O. and R.F. Both are students who were injured in the hallway on the day of the shooting. These two witnesses are no longer minors. 

Keast said it is relevant because the witnesses can testify about what they saw when the shooter emerged from the bathroom.

"They have different perspectives," Keast said. "And again, these are the only two surviving members of the hallway that we have confirmed with their families that they are willing and able to testify in this trial."

Lehman said K.O. and R.F. testifying is not relevant to James Crumbley's trial because it is unfairly prejudicial.

James Crumbley is accused of not getting his son the necessary help for his mental health needs and for purchasing the gun for their son, which was used in the shooting.  

On Feb. 6, an Oakland County jury found James Crumbley's wife, Jennifer Crumbley, guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. She is the first parent in the United States to go on trial in a mass school shooting carried out by their child. 

Jennifer Crumbley will be sentenced on April 9.  

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