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Text Messages Can Impact Your Criminal Case

A lot of people assume that text messages are completely private, so they reveal all sorts of private information in them. They type details about their life and send pictures expecting that these messages will remain private. But this isn’t always the case.

In fact, the police can get search warrants to read the text messages of a person they are investigating. Also, in court cases, text messages can be subpoenaed for relevant matters. These are usually very crucial to the results in civil and criminal cases. They can contain various types of damaging details that can hurt an individual, from salacious photos to admissions of possible guilt in court cases. Because of their immensely revealing nature, they can even make or break your case.

In the case of the Oxford school shooting, text messages were used by the prosecution to charge the shooter’s parents with involuntary manslaughter.

How Text Messages Led to The Charges Against Parents of The Oxford Shooter

15-year-old Ethan Crumbley was charged as an adult in light of the November 30 Oxford High School shooting in Michigan that resulted in the deaths of four students. The shooting likewise resulted in injuries to six students and one teacher. He faces 12 counts of firearm possession while committing a felony, seven counts of assault with the intention of murder, four counts of 1st-degree murder, and one count of terrorism resulting in death. Crumbley pleaded not guilty.

Ethan’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each. They also pleaded not guilty. The prosecution alleges that the parents were somehow responsible for the shooting because they could’ve done certain things to prevent it, but they did not. They also allege that the parents intentionally ignored their son’s wellbeing and needs as well as the threat he posed to other people.

After news of the shooting came out, Jennifer Crumbley sent her son a text message saying, “Ethan, don’t do it.” The day before the shooting, Ethan was caught looking at ammunition on his mobile phone while in school. His mother texted Ethan, “LOL, I’m not mad, you have to learn not to get caught.” The mother also sent a text to her co-worker, saying that her son’s destiny was done, and she had to take care of herself.

The filing also details Ethan’s state of mind six months prior to the school shooting and that the mother has been receiving disturbing texts from him. The prosecution also alleges that the parents, instead of helping their son, whom they knew was struggling, were wrapped up in their own problems, which included substance abuse. Likewise, they gifted their son with a gun instead of getting him professional help.

Contact a Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer

Ultimately, you must be extra careful of the information you write on your text messages because it might backfire on you should you get involved in a court case. If you’re under criminal investigation or have been charged with a crime, contact Tragos, Sartes & Tragos to discuss your case with our Clearwater criminal defense lawyer. Call 727-441-9030 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.