ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) -- The Oxford teen accused of murdering four of his high school classmates and wounding seven others last November at Oxford High School may plead guilty, his attorney lawyer says.
In an interview with WWJ's Charlie Langton, attorney Paulette Michel Loftin said it's too early to announce a decision, but it's "a definite possibility" that Ethan Crumbley could enter a guilty plea in the mass shooting case.
Crumbley, 15, waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the Rochester Hills District Court Friday morning, which is usually held to determine if a case will go to trial with evidence presented ahead of time.
The hearing only lasted a few minutes with Crumbley appearing via Zoom from the Oakland County jail.
Why waive the exam? "The burden at a preliminary exam is extremely low," Loftin explained. "Based on all the evidence we've received it's clear that there was no reason to have the exam; that it would've been bound over if in fact we did have it."
Crumbley is charged as an adult with terrorism and murder. He is accused of murdering Tate Myre, Madyson Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling. If convicted, he will face life in prison without parole.
As far as a possible plea agreement, Loftin said she doesn't yet know if the prosecutor would be willing to offer anything less than first degree murder. "Obviously we would be hopeful of that, if that is the avenue we decide to take, but we've not had any conversations whatsoever... so I'm not sure," Loftin said.
The teen's parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are also connection with the mass shooting — facing four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. They're returning to court Friday afternoon to ask for a lower bail to get out of jail.
The Crumbleys have been locked up since Dec. 4., unable to meet a $500,000 bond. They're hoping the judge will reduce it to $100,000.
Langton asked Loftin of the alleged shooter has been in contact with his parents.
"No," she said. "They are all, obviously, inmates of the Oakland County Jail, and they have strict rules about that, so no."
"...I did make him aware of what's going on in his parents' case. So he is cognizant and he knows that they are there in the same facility, just housed in a different area," she added. "I can't give too much detail about what he said to me, but obviously it is worrisome to him. You know, his parents are in custody, and any 15-year-old would be worried about that."