The parents of a boy accused of shooting several people at a Michigan high school appeared in court today and vowed to get their cash bonds removed.
James Crumbley, 45, and Jennifer Crumbley, 43, are both facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, four counts each. Their son, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, is facing four counts of first-degree murder, terrorism, and seven counts of assault with intent to murder in connection with a school shooting at Oxford High School.
Prosecutors argued that James and Jennifer Crumbley acted in a grossly negligent manner and caused the deaths of four people at the high school. Prosecutors also said the parents purchased a gun for their son on Black Friday; it was the same gun used in the shooting.
A weekend before the shooting, the teen’s parents took him to a shooting range, law enforcement said. The school was never advised that Ethan Crumbley had access to a gun.
“The student’s parents never advised the school district that he had direct access to a firearm or that they had recently purchased a firearm for him,” Tim Throne, the district superintendent, previously said.
In court Tuesday, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said there are still hundreds of pages of discovery to go through. As of Tuesday, her office had about “a third” of the discovery, Fox News reports.
“Six children and one teacher were shot. Hundreds were terrorized,” she said, explaining that the discovery volume in the case was “staggering” due to numerous victims.
The defendants, who haven’t seen in other since their arrest earlier this month, whispered to each other in the courtroom. They both sat at the same table in court, with their wrists shackled. Both pleaded not guilty.
52-3 District Judge Julie Nicholson previously accepted the prosecution’s request and set bond amounts at $500,000 for each parent. They both remain behind bars at the Oakland County Jail but their defense lawyer said the pair would “for sure” be filing a bond motion.
McDonald had announced earlier this month that Ethan Crumbley would be tried as an adult, citing “mountains” of digital evidence that the massacre was premeditated.
At a previous arraignment, Oakland County Sheriff Lt. Tim Willis spoke of a video that Ethan Crumbley is believed to have made the night before the massacre. He said investigators also found a journal.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Willis said that in one of the multiple videos recovered from Ethan Crumbley’s phone, the suspect “talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High School.
The journal, which was recovered from Ethan’s backpack, allegedly detailed his desire to shoot up a school to include murdering students.
The massacre was caught on the school’s surveillance video. Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast said at the arraignment that the video shows Crumbley entering a bathroom with a backpack at 12:51 p.m. He then emerged without the backpack, but with a gun and started shooting.
Ethan’s parents reportedly knew about drawings, his journal, and videos depicting disturbing behavior. Prosecutors said the parents chose to ignore their son’s behavior, leading to the high school tragedy.
“Based on the evidence we have reviewed to this point, our focus remains on the defendants in custody and their role in these unspeakable murders,” McDonald said.
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[Feature Photo: Police Handout]