Teen, Parents Returning to Court in Oxford School Shooting
January 7, 2022
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Two parents charged with their son in a fatal Michigan school shooting are returning to court to ask for a lower bail to get out of jail.
James and Jennifer Crumbley have been locked up since Dec. 4, unable to meet a $500,000 bond. They’re hoping a judge is willing to reduce it Friday to $100,000.
The Crumbleys are charged with involuntary manslaughter for the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School, which killed four teenagers and injured others. They’re accused of making a gun accessible to son Ethan Crumbley 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.
Separately, Ethan, 15, had also faced a court hearing Friday. He is charged as an adult with murder and other crimes. However, he waived the hearing which moves his case straight to trial court. Prosecutors in Michigan typically must present some evidence to show there’s probable cause to send people to trial on felony charges. It's a low bar. Crumbley waived his right to go through that stage Friday.
Prosecutors are opposing the parents’ request for a lower bond. They noted that the elder Crumbleys were missing for hours when charges were announced Dec. 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 Dec. 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 could reopen during the week of Jan. 23.