Police search parents of Michigan school shooting suspect after being charged with manslaughter – .

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Police search parents of Michigan school shooting suspect after being charged with manslaughter – .


A fugitive warrant has been issued against James and Jennifer Crumbley, who did not appear for a court appearance on Friday

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Authorities have sought the parents of a Michigan teenager accused of murdering four high school mates, after being charged with manslaughter on Friday for buying the gun for their son as a Christmas present and ignoring warning signs until the day of the shooting.

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A fugitive warrant has been issued against James and Jennifer Crumbley, who did not appear for arraignment on Friday, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office posted a Watch Out for Them notice on Facebook.

“If they think they’re going to run away, they’re not,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told CNN.

The pursuit began three days after officials charged their 15-year-old son with the deadliest U.S. school shooting of 2021, the latest in a long string of mass shootings at U.S. schools.

Ethan Crumbley, who is charged as an adult, faces 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.

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Two lawyers for the couple, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman, said in a statement that the Crumbleys were coming back for their arraignment and: “They are not running away from law enforcement.”

But a video arraignment scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. GMT) did not go as planned.

Neither Smith nor Lehman responded to questions about whether they were in contact with the Crumbleys, whether the pair were planning to surrender, or whether the indictment was moving forward. The appeals to the Oakland County courthouse were not returned.

The US Marshals Service said its Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team was working with the Sheriff’s Office on the search.

Four days before the shooting, Ethan accompanied his father to an armory, where James Crumbley purchased a semi-automatic handgun, prosecutors said.

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Later that day, Ethan posted photos of the weapon on social media, writing “I just had my new beauty today” and adding a heart emoji. Her mother announced the next day that they were both “testing out her new Christmas present,” Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald said.

Michigan law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing or owning firearms except in limited circumstances such as hunting with a license and a supervising adult.

McDonald told a news conference that the charges were “to send a message: gun owners have a responsibility.”

Whether prosecutors can prove the parents bought the gun for their son could be crucial, an expert said.

Eric Ruben, a law professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said it would be easier for prosecutors to prevail if they could prove the parents took direct action that resulted in death, for example by purchasing the weapon. If they just don’t take action, he said, prosecutors should show parents have a legal obligation to victims.

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Prosecutors described several frightening warning signs in the days leading up to the shooting at Oxford High School, about 60 miles north of Detroit. One day a teacher saw Ethan Crumbley looking for ammunition on his phone during class and alerted school officials, who left messages for his mother that did not return.

In a text message to her son, prosecutors said Jennifer Crumbley wrote, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.

On the morning of the shooting, a teacher discovered a drawing Ethan Crumbley had made of a handgun, bullet and a bloody figure next to the words “Blood everywhere” and “Thoughts won’t stop – help. me, ”McDonald said. .

James and Jennifer Crumbley were summoned to school, where they were ordered to ask Ethan for a consultation within 48 hours, McDonald said. They “resisted” the idea of ​​bringing their son home from school and did not search his backpack or ask him questions about the weapon, she said.

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“The idea that a parent could read these words and also know that their son had access to a lethal weapon they gave him is unacceptable, and I think it is criminal,” said McDonald.

Ethan Crumbley was brought back to class and then came out of a bathroom with the gun, killing four students and injuring seven others, authorities said.

When news of an active school shooter broke, Jennifer Crumbley texted Ethan, urging him to “Don’t do it,” according to prosecutors.

James Crumbley, meanwhile, returned directly to his home to check if the gun was there before calling police to report it was missing and that his son could be the shooter, McDonald said. The gun was stored in an unlocked drawer in the parents’ bedroom.

Unlike some states, Michigan does not legally require gun owners to keep their firearms safe from children.

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