Pontiac – Lawyers for the parents of the Oxford High teenager accused of Tuesday’s school shooting said on Friday that James and Jennifer Crumbley were returning to the area to be brought to justice for manslaughter.
The Oakland County Fugitive Apprehension Team on Friday searched for the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High, charged with the first degree murder of four students and other criminal charges, after County Deputy Sheriff Mike McCabe said the couple stopped responding. to their lawyer.
“On Thursday evening, we reached out to the Oakland County District Attorney to discuss this case and to advise them that James and Jennifer Crumbley will be showing up for trial,” attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman told Detroit News . “Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce the charges.
“The Crumbleys left town the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be brought to justice. They are not fleeing law enforcement despite recent media comments.”
James and Jennifer Crumbley of Oxford were named on arrest warrants on Friday, each charged with four counts of manslaughter in the deaths of four Oxford High School students who were allegedly killed by their son. They were also named at a noon press conference by Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald to announce the charges.
Their case is on trial in Rochester Hills District Court 52-3, and an indictment is tentatively set for 4 p.m. Friday.
“Their lawyer assured us that if a decision was made to charge them, she would present them for arrest,” McCabe said on Friday.
That deal with attorney Smith took place in the morning, McCabe said around 2 p.m. Friday.
“Our last conversation with the lawyer was that she had tried to reach them by phone and text, and they were not responding,” he said.
McCabe said officers from the Fugitive Apprehension Team were looking for the couple mid-afternoon Friday. The Crumbleys own a 2021 black Kia Seltos with license plate DQG5203 and a white 2019 Kia Soul Station Wagon with license plate DZH8994, according to the Sheriff’s Office and Secretary of State records.
McCabe said a conversation was initiated by the parents’ attorney on Friday morning when it was announced the prosecutor was holding a press conference to announce whether a decision had been made to charge someone else in deaths.
“We didn’t even know they had been charged with anything until we heard from the media this morning,” McCabe said.
McDonald gave many reasons for his decision, including the father’s purchase of the handgun, which was a Christmas present for their son, and a school reunion where they were shown a graphic drawing made by their son representing a bullet victim. Each count carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
“I spoke to (relatives of the victims) and indicated what charges were going to be laid,” McDonald said at his Friday noon press conference. “These parents are in grief.
“I have tremendous compassion and empathy for parents of children who are struggling, for whatever reason,” she added. “But the facts in this case are so glaring. The idea that a parent could read those words, and also know that their son had access to a deadly weapon.
The Crumbleys’ son Ethan has been charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to kill and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime. He faces life imprisonment without parole if convicted.
Editor-in-chief James Dickson contributed.