Ethan Crumbley reading Harry Potter books, has "pretty excessive" funds in commissary sheriff says
PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - For almost three months, Ethan Crumbley has been housed in the Oakland County Jail after the Oxford High School shooting. On Tuesday, he was in court for a hearing on a request to transfer the teen out of Oakland County jail and into a juvenile detention center. During the hearing, we learned details about his education access while in jail and more including his commissary funds.
Crumbley was charged as an adult with the murder of four students, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17. According to authorities, Crumbley shot and killed the four students with a 9 mm Sig Sauer.
Under Michigan law, minors held in adult facilities must be evaluated every month by a judge. The first evaluation happened on Jan. 21 to determine if the adult facility is still appropriate. The January hearing was brief while the February hearing went for close to three hours as the prosecution and defense questioned witnesses regarding Crumbley's custody in the adult facility.
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Three witnesses were called to testify, two from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office and one from Children's Village, the juvenile facility. During the hearing, it was revealed that Crumbley has been given access to Harry Potter books and also has what Oakland County Sheriff Captain Thomas Bida called a "pretty excessive" amount of funds in his commissary.
The first witness called was Christina Belling with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, who works with inmates in the jail, including Crumbley. She said she met with Crumbley almost every day since he was first arrested on Dec. 1, 2021 until mid-to-late January. She's now meeting with him twice a week.
Belling spoke about his mental health and said she was aware that she was able to provide him Harry Potter books while in the Oakland County Jail.
Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley
Heather Calcaterra, the manager of Children's Village, testified next. She Calcaterra oversees the facility which houses and treats juvenile offenders and is on the same campus as the Oakland County Jail.
Read: Parents ignored signs of violence for months before shooting, prosecutor says
Those in custody there are classified as residents and she said they also have access to reading material, including books and magazines.
One of the main differences between the two facilities is the access to education. In the Oakland County Jail, Crumbley gets access to games, educational material, and more on a tablet that is shared among inmates. In Children's Village, residents attend school for 7 hours each day which is taught by educators from the Waterford school district.
Another revelation that came out on Tuesday was the amount of funds in Crumbley's commissary account.
Bida said that Crumbley entered the facility with no money in his account but classified the amount in there now, in comparison to other inmates, is "pretty excessive". These funds can be used to buy toiletry items including toothpaste, deodorant, and more.
Bida said anyone can contribute to his account but did not specify exactly how much was in his account.
Additionally, Crumbley has access to email and he's receiving messages regularly. Loftin said the emails are from strangers who have reached out to him on their own.
"These are individuals, mostly women, who have taken it upon themselves to message him and give him well wishes and message him extremely frequently,"
Bida was the final witness called on Tuesday and Judge Kame Rowe is expected to give his final decision, which must be issued in writing, by the beginning of next week. He asked for supplemental briefs from the prosecution and defense by Friday.
Read more about what was discussed during the hearing on this page.