James and Jennifer Crumbley, who face charges of manslaughter, were found early Saturday in a commercial building in Detroit. Lawyers for the couple said they had no plans to flee, countering authorities who accused them of escaping capture for their alleged role in a school shooting that left four people dead. Their 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley, has been charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes.
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The couple visited artist Andrzej Sikora’s studio inside the downtown building on Friday morning, but the artist was not aware of the charges against the couple or that they are remained after his departure for the day, according to lawyer Clarence Dass. He said Sikora had a “friendly relationship” with the Crumbleys, but declined to give details, citing an active investigation.
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Dass said when the performer woke up on Saturday and learned that authorities had taken the couple into custody, he voluntarily contacted authorities. Authorities had been looking for the couple since Friday afternoon.
“There was a lot of confusion and the Crumbleys went to see him to get to safety. He was not aware of the charges, ”Dass said. “They were there during the day. He left in the early evening. He didn’t even know they were still there.
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Sikora, 65, has not been charged, but Detroit Police said the Crumbleys “were helped into the building” and someone who helped them could also be charged. Detroit police had no more information on Sunday.
Oakland County Deputy Sheriff Michael McCabe confirmed on Sunday that Sikora’s attorney had reached out and authorities were setting up an interview.
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Sikora, a Polish-born American artist who lives in Oakland County, has been in the country for years, Dass said. His work, largely murals, can be found in the Detroit area, including on homes and businesses.
Six students and a teacher were also injured in Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School, about 31 miles north of Detroit.
The Oakland County District Attorney’s Office Karen McDonald made the rare decision to press charges against Ethan Crumbley’s parents on Friday. Prosecutors charged them with failing to intervene on the day of the shooting despite being confronted with a scary drawing and message – “blood everywhere” – which was found on their son’s desk. They each face up to 15 years in prison.
The Crumbleys have committed “blatant” acts, ranging from buying a gun on Black Friday and making it available to their son, to resisting his removal from school when called in for a few hours. ahead of Tuesday’s shooting, McDonald said.
Defense attorneys for the Crumbleys argued they never intended to flee and planned to meet with their attorneys on Saturday morning.
School district officials said a third party would investigate the events at Oxford High School before the shooting. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said on Sunday that his office may conduct the investigation.