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Judge Denies Bond Reductions For Parents Of School Shooter

Rochester, MI – The parents of the 15-year-old gunman accused of murdering four teens and wounding a teacher and six other students at Oxford High School last year were denied a request to lower their bond on Tuesday.

James and Jennifer Crumbley have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors said they failed to take action to stop their son from carrying out the Nov. 30, 2021 mass shooting, ABC News reported.

Prosecutors said the couple ignored their son’s requests for help with his mental health, WJBK reported.

They also allegedly gave their son the gun that he used in the attack.

Investigators said the Crumbleys withdrew $4,000 from an ATM and went into hiding inside a Detroit warehouse after news of the shooting broke, WDIV reported.

They were charged on Dec. 3, 2021, and warrants were issued for their arrests.

Their attorney said the couple planned to turn themselves in, but they failed to do so and skipped out on an arraignment hearing, CNN reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office’s (OCSO) fugitive team all deployed to locate the Crumbleys, WXMI reported.

The couple allegedly traveled to Rochester Hills, located about 15 miles from Oxford, and withdrew $4,000 from an ATM, police said.

Investigators tried to track them using their cell phones, but that lead ended when the Crumbleys shut their devices down, CNN reported.

The couple ultimately ended up at the downtown Detroit studio of 65-year-old artist Andrzej Sikora, who they had a “friendly relationship with,” Sikora’s attorney, Clarence Dass, told the Associated Press.

Dass said Sikora had no idea the Crumbleys were wanted and that he didn’t know they remained inside his studio after he closed up for the day.

Police honed in on the Crumbleys’ location after a Detroit business owner called 911 to report having seen a woman standing near “the suspect vehicle” in the parking lot of his business, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said at the time.

Investigators found the couple hiding on the first floor of the building where Sikora’s studio is located and took them into custody, the Associated Press reported.

“They appeared to be hiding in the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White told reporters after their arrests. “This isn’t indicative of turning themselves in…hiding in a warehouse.”

He said they were both “very distressed” after they were caught.

The Crumbleys have remained in jail on $500,000 bond apiece and had motioned the court to reduce their bonds to $100,000 each, ABC News reported.

A lower court denied a similar request in January.

Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews denied the couple’s motion on Tuesday, noting that their actions after the shooting were “premeditated to conceal their whereabouts,” ABC News reported.

“The defendants indicate they were devastated when they heard about the alleged actions of their son, felt unsafe in their home, felt hounded by the press, and found it necessary to leave,” Matthews said, according to WJBK.

“However, the chronology of events that occurred subsequent to the defendants leaving their home is not consistent with cooperation of law enforcement,” she added.

The judge said the couple’s actions lead her to believe they were trying to flee.

“I don’t think there is a lawyer, jurist, or member of the public who thinks that that was not an attempt to flee. It absolutely was. It wasn’t a close call,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

The Crumbleys’ trial is tentatively expected to begin on Oct. 24, according to WJBK.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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