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Oxford High Shooter’s Fugitive Parents Apprehended, Are Being Held On a Total of $1Million Bond

Oxford High Shooter’s Fugitive Parents Apprehended, Are Being Held On a Total of $1Million Bond

The parents of the teen accused in this week’s deadly Michigan high school shooting pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges Saturday morning, hours after police arrested them in a Detroit warehouse following an hours-long search.

A judge in Michigan’s Oakland County set bond at $500,000 each for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teen jailed on suspicion of killing four schoolmates and wounding seven other people at Oxford High School on Tuesday. Ethan Crumbley was charged as an adult on Wednesday with terrorism, murder, and other counts in the shooting. Prosecutors allege that shortly after James Crumbley bought the gun on November 26th, his son posted a picture of a gun on an Instagram account and captioned it, “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm” with a heart-eyes emoji. Jennifer Crumbley also posted about the gun on social media, calling it “his new Christmas present,” Prosecutor Karen McDonald said during the arraignment. And his mother also took him to a shooting range the weekend before the shooting at the school, according to law enforcement. On Monday — the day before the shooting — a teacher saw Ethan Crumbley searching ammunition on his phone and reported it to school officials, the prosecutor said.

Then on Tuesday — the day of the shooting — a different teacher became alarmed after Ethan had a drawing that showed a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” Another section displayed a drawing of a bullet with the words “Blood Everywhere” written above it. Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is one of a person who seems to have been shot twice and is bleeding. Jennifer Crumbley did not respond to school officials when they called her about that conduct — but later that day sent a text message to her son saying, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”

The parents were called for a meeting in the school with a counselor and their son, who had altered the illustration by scratching out the drawings of the gun and bloody figure, along with the words, according to McDonald. The parents refused to take their son out of the school, and he was allowed back to class. Later that day, according to prosecutors, Crumbley opened fire outside a bathroom, aiming at students in the hallway as well as those who were hiding in classrooms.

James and Jennifer Crumbley had been charged Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter over Tuesday’s shooting, and were supposed to attend an arraignment Friday afternoon, authorities said. During the arraignment, their attorneys stressed their clients had fully intended to turn themselves in before authorities arrested them Saturday morning, and denied prosecutors’ assertions that their son had unrestricted access to the gun he’s accused of using.

During Saturday’s arraignment, defense lawyers denied prosecutors’ contentions that the parents gave Ethan Crumbley full access to the gun he’s accused of using. The defense attorneys and the prosecutor also clashed over whether the couple was fleeing prosecution or intended to turn themselves in before they were arrested. Prosecutors had worried about the couple escaping because they didn’t have ties to their community, and officials had trouble locating the Crumbleys once their son was being arraigned. The parents also withdrew $4,000 Friday from an ATM in Rochester Hills, about 10 to 15 miles from Oxford, a law enforcement official told CNN.

The detained Crumbleys separately made their arraignment appearances by video conference with the judge, their attorneys, and the county prosecutor. Both spoke little beyond saying they understood each charge — with Jennifer Crumbley appearing to cry between words — and pleaded “not guilty” to each.

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But they missed the Friday arraignment, making them fugitives and setting off a search for them, authorities said. Early Saturday, police said they found the couple on the first floor of an industrial or commercial building in Detroit — some 40 miles south of the Oxford area where they live — after someone tipped police Friday night that their vehicle was nearby. “They appeared to be hiding in the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White said during a news conference early Saturday. They were “very distressed” after they were detained, the chief said. White said he didn’t know the Crumbleys’ intentions, but that “this isn’t indicative of turning themselves in, hiding in a warehouse.”

 

White added someone let the couple into the building, and said that person could face charges.

 

[This is a developing story, please check back for updates]

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