The parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley will appear in court today to beg for their bail to be lowered from $500,000 to $100,000.
James and Jennifer Crumbley, who are charged with involuntary manslaughter over the November attack, have been locked up since December 4 unable to meet their bond.
Ethan, 15, also faces a court hearing today and is being charged with murder as an adult after the shooting spree which killed four teenagers and injured others.
James Crumbley is seen on court last month as he begs the judge to lower his bond with his wife Jennifer to $100,000
The couple are accused of making a gun accessible to their teenage son Ethan who carried out a school shooting
His parents are accused of making a gun accessible to the teenager and refusing to take him home earlier that day when school counselors confronted them with distressing drawings of violence.
‘The last thing they expected was that a school shooting would take place, or that their son would be responsible,’ defense attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman said in a court filing.
Prosecutors are opposing the parents’ request for a lower bond.
Ethan, 15, also faces a court hearing today
They noted that the elder Crumbleys were missing for hours when charges were announced December 3 before police found them miles away in a Detroit art studio early the next morning.
Smith said they had planned to appear in court on December 4.
The Crumbleys ‘will flee if they get the opportunity,’ prosecutors said in a court filing, noting they were behind in mortgage payments and had put their house up for sale.
Oxford High students are expected to return to school next week for the first time since the shooting but at a different building.
The high school, roughly 30 miles north of Detroit, could reopen during the week of January 23.
Before the shooting, Jennifer bragged on social media about going out with her son to test his Christmas present – a 9mm handgun – just three days before the shooting and just one day after her husband had purchased the gun.
When Jennifer was later made aware of her son’s ‘inappropriate’ web search researching firearm ammunition while at school, she texted him: ‘LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.’
The Crumbleys, who are charged with involuntary manslaughter over the November attack, have been locked up since December 4 unable to meet their bond
She never responded to the school’s message about the ‘inappropriate internet search.’
Hours before the school shooting begun, the Crumbleys were called to the school to discuss Ethan’s disturbing behavior including drawings depicting a gun, a bullet, blood everywhere, a shooting victim and a laughing emoji.
The note included the words: ‘Thoughts won’t stop, help me’; ‘my life is useless’ and ‘the world is dead,’ Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said. After the meeting, the Crumbleys left their son to finish the day at school when he opened fire on his classmates and teachers.
Defense attorney Shannon Smith acknowledged that Jennifer Crumbley sent a text message to her son on the day of the shooting, telling him ‘don’t do it.’
But Smith said it was a plea for him to not kill himself, as the school shooting had already occurred and the gun was missing from home.
‘The Crumbleys, like every parent and community member, are devastated by the school shooting,’ Smith and co-counsel Mariell Lehman said in a court filing. ‘The last thing they expected was that a school shooting would take place, or that their son would be responsible.’
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, (left) and Hana St Juliana, 14, (right) died in a shooting rampage at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit
Justin Shilling, 17, (left) died in the hospital the morning after the shooting and Tate Myre (right) died in the school on November 30
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer embraces Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter as the two leave flowers and pay their respects outside Oxford High School, where Crumbley killed four people on November 30
The Crumbleys were arrested at a Detroit art studio less than a mile from the Canadian border, hours after their charges were announced and they failed to appear in court on December 3.
The Crumbleys’ arrests came after the U.S. Marshals offered a $10,000 bounty for information leading to their capture. Their absence prompted a manhunt involving several agencies, including the Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force, state police and the FBI.
Law enforcement sources say the couple withdrew $4,000 from an ATM and were last seen around 2-3 pm shortly before the 4 pm deadline to turn themselves in.
Both Crumbleys have pleaded not guilty to all four charges of involuntary manslaughter – one for each Oxford High School student who was killed.
Each count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison along with a $7,500 fine and mandatory DNA testing.
Their 15-year-old son is accused of killing Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, and injuring several others after opening fire in the school.
A memorial outside of Oxford High School on December 7 in Oxford, Michigan. One week prior, four students were killed and seven others injured
Source: Daily Mail