Facing overwhelming evidence and with limited legal wiggle room, lawyers for Oxford High shooter Ethan Crumbley said they plan to argue that he was mentally incapable of understanding his crime.
"Please take notice that ... Ethan Crumbley intends to assert the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense," his lawyers, Paula Loftin and Amy Hopp wrote in the one-paragraph filing Wednesday in Oakland County Circuit Court, the Detroit Free Press reports, adding:
The filing now paves the way for Crumbley to receive a psychiatric evaluation, which has not yet been done and is needed to pursue an insanity defense.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald has previously stated that she has no reason to believe that Crumbley's mental state would affect his ability to face charges.
McDonald has portrayed Crumbley, 15, as a troubled and violent teen who gave his parents and school officials reasons to be concerned before he fatally shot four students and wounded six others and a teacher on Nov. 30.
He's being prosecuted as an adult in Oakland County Circuit Court and is in the county jail.