ALL NEWS

Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect held on $500,000 bond each after manhunt

Dec 4, 2021, 1:47 PM

Crumbley mug shots...

CNN

(CNN) — 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 said they 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 killing four schoolmates and wounding seven other people at Oxford High School on Tuesday.

The detained couple, sitting alone in separate rooms, made their arraignment appearance 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.

During the arraignment, their attorneys stressed their clients had fully intended to turn themselves in before authorities arrested them Saturday morning, and denied prosecutors’ assertion that their son had unrestricted access to the gun he’s accused of using.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter over Tuesday’s shooting, and were supposed to attend an arraignment Friday afternoon, authorities said.

But they missed the Friday arraignment, 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 that person could face charges.

One of the couple’s attorneys had earlier stated that the Crumbleys had left town for their own safety and intended to turn themselves in voluntarily. On Saturday morning, their attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman issued a statement saying they “understand that our clients were apprehended last night, although we fully intended to turn them in first thing this morning for arraignment, contrary to the misinformation that has been rampant in the media.”

Prosecutors on Friday announced the couple were being charged in connection with the shooting for numerous reasons — including allegations that they recently bought the gun for their son, and did not remove him from school despite being told hours before the killings of a concerning drawing the teen was accused of making.

Ethan Crumbley was charged Wednesday as an adult with terrorism, murder and other counts in the shooting.

The shooting — the deadliest at a US K-12 campus since 2018 and the 32nd such attack since August 1 — claimed the lives of Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17.

Couple withdrew $4,000 from an ATM on Friday, official told CNN

The US Marshals Service was helping local authorities search for the couple Friday, and had offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information that could lead to their arrest.

Ultimately, Detroit police made the arrest after a local business owner saw a woman standing near “the suspect vehicle” in his parking lot and called 911, according to a statement to CNN from Undersheriff Michael McCabe with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

“After an extensive search by DPD including Detroit K-9 units both of the fugitives were located and arrested by DPD,” McCabe said.

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, a law enforcement source told CNN on Friday.

The parents also withdrew $4,000 from an ATM in Rochester Hills, Michigan, on Friday, a law enforcement official told CNN. Rochester Hills is about 10 to 15 miles from Oxford.

Law enforcement were tracking the couple’s whereabouts by cell phone pings but that signal had dropped because the couple’s cell phones were turned off, the official said

Prosecutors reveal more on parents role before shooting

The arrests come after officials revealed more information Friday regarding the circumstances leading up to the deadly shooting.

On November 26, James Crumbley bought the gun authorities believe was used in the shooting at an Oxford, Michigan, store with his son, according to Karen McDonald, the prosecutor who is leading the case.

Shortly after, 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, McDonald said.

Jennifer Crumbley also posted about the gun on social media, calling it “his new Christmas present,” McDonald continued. And his mother also took him to a shooting range the weekend before the shooting at the school, according to a 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.

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,” McDonald said.

Then on Tuesday — the day of the shooting — a different teacher became alarmed after the alleged shooter had a drawing that showed a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,” McDonald said.

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, McDonald said.

“Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji,” McDonald said.

Also found on the note, according to McDonald: “My life is useless” and “The world is dead.”

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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Winter conditions...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Here’s what to expect as remnants of California blizzard head to Utah

Much of Utah is under a winter weather advisory as remnants of California's blizzard heads to Utah. Wind and cold temperatures on the way.

23 minutes ago

food pantries...

Heather Peterson

Food pantries running low due to spike in demand

According to Feeding America, 316,980 people are facing hunger in Utah, and 93,050 are children.

45 minutes ago

Now hiring sign...

PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US economy grew solid 3.2% in fourth quarter, a slight downgrade from government’s initial estimate

Far from stumbling, the economy grew 2.5% for all of 2023, topping the 1.9% growth in 2022.

1 hour ago

baby feet, utah postpartum retreat helps new moms...

Britt Johnson

Utah company aims to help postpartum moms with special retreats

The founder of Utah Postpartum Retreat said she thinks new moms are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders because they lack support.

2 hours ago

Example of a possible future salvage project on Lake Powell....

Derrick Jones

Lake Powell asks for public’s help locating possible salvage

Park officials want to know where sunken vessels were seen as Lake Powell reached record low levels.

2 hours ago

Power lines are pictured in utah, utah has lower electricity bill than other states...

Tammy Kikuchi

Study shows Utahns pay cheapest electricity bills in the country

Utah residents are paying less for power than any other state. Rocky Mountain Power says they work hard to keep it that way.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect held on $500,000 bond each after manhunt