Mother of Oxford school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley cries as she and husband plead not guilty after their arrest – .

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Mother of Oxford school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley cries as she and husband plead not guilty after their arrest – .


The mother of Michigan high school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley cried as she and her husband pleaded not guilty to their arraignment, hours after their arrest following a massive manhunt overnight.
Jennifer and James Crumbley were charged on Saturday morning with four counts of manslaughter in connection with Tuesday’s shooting, in which their 15-year-old son allegedly shot dead four students and injured seven others at Oxford High School.

They both pleaded not guilty to all charges via video link from Oakland County Jail – the same jail their son has been held in since his arrest on multiple counts of murder and terrorism.

Ms Crumbley sobbed and covered her face with her hand saying she understood the charges and had pleaded. The Crumbleys each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Four students died in the mass shooting – Tate Myre, 16; Hana St Juliana, 14 years old; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17 – and a teacher and six students were injured.

Their indictment came hours after the parents were found hiding in a warehouse, from where they allegedly tried to flee to Canada to escape prosecution.

The Crumbleys appeared to run away on Friday, allegedly withdrawing $ 4,000 (£ 3,022) from an ATM and turning off their cellphones so they could not be located, hours after the Oakland County Prosecutor , Karen McDonald, announced her decision to bring charges against them.

Follow live updates on the Michigan school shooting

Prosecutor McDonald told a press conference on Friday that the parents’ failure to prevent Tuesday’s massacre was “criminal” and that it was his “intention to hold them accountable.”

They were scheduled to appear for their appearance at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, but did not appear, triggering a manhunt involving the United States Marshal’s Service, with officials offering a reward of $ 10,000 for information leading to their arrest.

Detroit Police Chief James White announced at a press briefing Saturday morning that the Crumbleys had been taken into custody in a commercial building in Detroit following a whistleblower.

A car belonging to the Crumbleys was located in a business parking lot on Friday evening, when a witness reported seeing a woman running away from the vehicle.

The “distressed” couple were then taken into unarmed and “uneventful” custody, Chief White said, adding that the fugitives “appeared to be hiding in the building” and their behavior was not “revealing. to surrender, to hide in a warehouse ”.

He said he thought it was “very likely” that the Crumbleys were trying to escape to Canada after being apprehended within a mile of the border.

Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect plead not guilty as mother sobs in court

The couple were helped in the warehouse by someone else, he said, adding that it could result in costs for that person.

At the time of their indictment, the bail was set at $ 500,000 each, with prosecutors arguing that their apparent attempted escape proved to be a risk of escape.

The couple “fled and they tried several times to hide their whereabouts,” prosecutors said, adding that they had been found “locked in a hidden room”.

Lawyers for the Crumbleys had opposed the bail, saying the couple “were absolutely going to surrender”, saying it was “just a matter of logistics”.

Jennifer and James Crumbley pictured in their photos after their arrest in the early hours of Saturday

(EPA)

Mariell Lehman told the court her clients “absolutely take this matter seriously” and are “devastated” by the massacre that unfolded this week.

“There is no risk that they will flee the lawsuits. They have never fled prosecution, ”she said.

Instead, lawyers accused the prosecutor’s office of “putting on a media show” from the case, saying they contacted the prosecutor Thursday evening to arrange for the couple’s surrender but their messages went unanswered.

They also disputed the allegation that the gun used in the shooting was freely accessible to Ethan, claiming that the “gun was locked” away from the teenager and that it was “absolutely false” that there was access.

In a pre-arraignment statement, Ms Lehman and lawyer Shannon Smith doubled down on the claim that their clients were considering surrendering.

“We understand that our clients were apprehended last night, although we fully intend to bring them to justice as of this morning on charges, contrary to the disinformation that was rampant in the media,” they said.

“Sadly, this case presents the most unimaginable tragedy for everyone involved, including every member of the community.

“While it’s human nature to want to find someone to blame or something to report or something that gives us answers, the accusations in this case are meant to set an example and send a message. The prosecution chose very well and slanted specific facts to advance their narrative to do so. “

They added: “We intend to fight this case in court and not in the court of public opinion. We know that in the end all of history and truth will prevail.

Ethan Crumbley is charged with murdering four comrades in Tuesday’s massacre

(PA)

Lawyers insisted on Friday night the couple were not on the run but had left town for their own safety following the shooting and were returning to surrender voluntarily. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office disputed this claim, saying it was not aware of any such arrangement.

The court ruled in favor of the charge and set the bond at $ 500,000 each. If they post a bond, they are ordered to turn over all guns to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and must wear a monitoring device.

The decision to indict the parents of the alleged mass shooter is somewhat unprecedented.

The manslaughter charge is the strongest allowed under the law, which states that parents of a child who violates gun laws on school property or in a school vehicle can be held criminally liable. responsible if the parent knew the child’s intentions or continued with his actions.

Prosecutors said the Crumbleys bought the gun for their son as a Christmas present and were aware of the warning signs of the violence on Tuesday, but did not remove him from school and left him the weapon accessible.

Mr Crumbley purchased the pistol – a Sig Sauer 9mm SP 2022 model – which was believed to have been used in the shooting four days earlier on Black Friday, authorities said.

Ethan, who was said to have been with his father at the time of the purchase, then bragged about “my new beauty” on his now-deleted Instagram account, prosecutors said.

Her mother also reportedly announced that she had organized a “mom and son day to test out her new Christmas present” at a shooting range alongside a photo of the gun.

The Crumbleys were then alerted to their son’s worrying behavior at his high school in the days that followed.

On Monday, the day before the shooting, a teacher found the teenager searching for ammunition on his phone, prosecutors said.

Attempts to alert Ms Crumbley were ignored, but the mother appeared to text her son about the incident at around the same time.

“LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught, ”she wrote to Ethan, according to prosecutors.

On the morning of the shooting, officials said another teacher then found a handgun, a bullet and a person being shot on a drawing on the teenager’s desk.

“Thoughts won’t stop, help me” and “blood everywhere” was scribbled on the note.

Law enforcement surrounds the Detroit building where the Crumbleys were found

(Getty Images)

The Crumbleys were called to the school and a meeting was held with them, their son and the school officials. Parents fought to get him back to class, prosecutors said, and were told to see Ethan within 48 hours.

A few hours later, the 15-year-old is accused of coming out of the school toilet and opening fire on his classmates.

After word of the shooting spread, Ms Crumbley reportedly texted her son “Ethan, don’t do it”.

Meanwhile, Mr Crumbley called 911 to report a missing gun and to say he believed his son was the shooter, officials said.

Ethan is being held without bail on 24 counts, including one count of terrorism and four counts of first degree murder.

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