NOVI — James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the teen charged in the Nov. 29 Oxford High School shooting, were located and arrested early Saturday in the basement of a commercial building near downtown Detroit after a citizen saw their vehicle and called police. The couple was turned over to the U.S. Marshals and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
The capture of Ethan Crumbley’s parents followed an extensive multi-law enforcement search for them Friday after they failed to show up for an arraignment on involuntary manslaughter charges at courtroom in Rochester Hills. This morning at an arraignment hearing, the Crumbleys pleaded not guilty to four involuntary manslaughter charges brought against each of them for their alleged role in the mass shooting that saw a massive police and EMS response from Lapeer County agencies.
The Crumbleys were taken into custody without incident around 2 a.m. Saturday by Detroit Police Dept. officers at a building on the 1100 block of Bellevue near E. Lafayette in Detroit. They were not armed. Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said the couple’s whereabout was the result of a tip from a business owner in the area where they were found, who saw a woman near the vehicle.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the couple bought the gun for their son four days before Tuesday’s shooting that killed four students and injured seven others. She said they “could have stopped the shooting.”
McDonald also said that on Nov. 29, a teacher at Oxford High School reported Ethan was searching for ammunition on his phone.
The morning of the shooting, a teacher at the high school was alarmed by a note she saw on Ethan’s desk, the prosecutor said. The note contained a drawing of a gun, a bullet, and a person who appeared to be shot twice and bleeding, she added.
Saturday morning’s proceedings were conducted through a video feed from the Oakland County Jail to 52nd District Court in Novi. Judge Julie A. Nicholson set the couple’s bond at $500,00 each, no 10 percent, due to the court’s concerns that the Crumbleys may be a flight risk and/or danger to public safety. Prosecutor McDonald requested this bond amount. The defense attorneys asked for bond to be set at $50,000 or $100,000, arguing the couple are not flight risks.
If the couple does post bond, they will be required to wear GPS tethers, turn over all of their firearms to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, in addition to several other stipulations such as not testing positive for alcohol or other substances and informing the court of their whereabouts in advance.
If convicted on all four counts of involuntary manslaughter, the Crumbleys each face a maximum of 60 years in prison, in addition to a maximum of $30,000 in fines. They are scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 14.