Ethan Crumbley is forced to rely on a public defender even though his parents have hired high-profile attorneys for themselves.
The 15-year-old Michigan school shooter, who has been charged with terrorism and four counts of murder after shooting dead four Oxford High School students, has been assigned a public defender on Thursday.
According to the reports, attorney Paulette Michel Loftin will represent the teenager following a conclusion that he can’t afford to hire a lawyer of his own.
As Loftin has since told Detroit Free Press, she cannot yet comment on her client’s situation due to restricted access to information.
“There are thousands of pages of discovery that I will need to review so that we can make an informed decision about whether or not we wish to have the preliminary exam,” she said as she confirmed that she has yet to get her hands on discovery information obtained so far.
Meanwhile, it has come to light that Ethan’s parents have hired high-profile attorneys, Mariell Lehman and Shannon Smith, to represent them as they face four counts of involuntary manslaughter each.
As of this writing, it remains unclear whether the Crumbleys will pay for their legal defense or if the attorneys will be handling the case on a pro-bono basis.
Though the teenager can’t afford to hire an attorney of his own choosing, local attorneys generally agree that he is lucky to be assigned Loftin as his representative.
“First of all, he’s got a good attorney. The court made certain that he got a good attorney. She is an excellent attorney who knows both juvenile and adult criminal law,” defense attorney Bill Swor said.
Echoing his words, attorney Margaret Raben told the Detroit Free Press that Loftin “will be a good choice” for the 15-year-old.
“I think Paulette Loftin is a fine lawyer with a solid background in both juvenile law and adult criminal law,” she said.
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