Testimony from Gun’s Previous Owner Allowed in James Crumbley’s Trial: Storing Firearm Key Issue

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — In the upcoming trial of James Crumbley, who is facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter for his son’s mass shooting at Oxford High School, Judge Cheryl Matthews has ruled to allow testimony from the original owner of the handgun used in the shooting. The handgun was bought by James Crumbley just four days before the incident occurred.

At a hearing in Oakland County Circuit Court, Matthews agreed with the prosecution’s argument that the testimony of the former owner, Kyle Keaser, could be relevant in James Crumbley’s trial. Assistant prosecutor Marc Keast emphasized the importance of Keaser’s testimony about the condition of the cable lock that was sold back with the gun.

According to Keast, Keaser purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer from a gun store in Oxford in May 2021 and then sold it back, unused, with the cable lock on November 13, 2021. James Crumbley bought the gun and lock on November 26.

The storage of the firearm is expected to be a key issue in the trial.

Keaser is one of four recently added witnesses to the prosecution’s list, which defense attorney Mariell Lehman has challenged. Lehman argues that eyewitness testimony is irrelevant since James Crumbley is not charged with shooting anyone.

Judge Matthews has yet to rule on allowing the additional eyewitnesses to testify, as well as several other motions related to photographic evidence and whether the trial should be moved out of Oakland County. The defense has also raised a challenge regarding Ethan Crumbley’s journal and text messages to a friend, which contain entries about planning the shooting and seeking help for mental health issues.

Ethan Crumbley, who is currently serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to the charges, killed four students and injured seven others during the shooting. His mother, Jennifer Crumbley, was also found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing.

The trial for James Crumbley is scheduled to start on March 5.